Sunday, 26 January 2014

Voters Wooed in Wildern

Candidates are shaping up and the first leaflets have been exchanged for the Wildern ward by election on 13th February.

Ray Turner (the independent candidate), Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP have all been active this weekend. Nothing from the Tories yet, but I see on Twitter that a fallen tree was blocking the drive to their plush HQ in Upper Northam Close. Perhaps they were all stuck in the billiard room. Or are they planning to give their coalition cronies another easy ride?

Some people have told me, "It's only a Town Council by election." But the Town Council has a budget of over £900,000 and a council tax precept of over £600,000. Voters in Wildern ward are being given the chance to have a say on who decides how to spend that money. I hope there is a reasonable turnout and whoever is elected has a real mandate from the people.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

MP Takes Town Council Badger Concerns to Secretary of State

Hedge End's MP Mike Thornton has offered to make the Town Council's views about the Coalition's disastrous badger cull policy known to the Secretary of State.

In November the Council supported an excellently researched resolution proposed by badger friendly Cllr Rupert Kyrle, pointing out the scientific shortcomings of the Coalition cull policy. Triple-hatted Cllr Kyrle had already steered his resolution through debates at Hampshire County and Eastleigh Borough Councils. As a result all three levels of local government for Hedge End have agreed that culling would not be permitted on their land if the Government decides in the future to extend the cull to Hampshire.

Hedge End Town Council took things one step further though, and supported my amendment to make its decision known to our MP and request that he oppose any extension of the cull in parliament.

At December's council meeting, the Town Clerk read Mike Thornton's reply. Although careful not to commit himself to voting one way or another, Mike pointed out that he had signed Early Day Motion 299. This motion attempts to ensure that MPs will have a vote on any extension of the cull.

He also offered to make Hedge End Town Council's views known to the Secretary of State at the appropriate time. The badgers killed in the 2013 pilot culls were not tested for bovine TB, so there has been no improvement to our knowledge of how prevalent the cow disease is in the wild badger population. What is more, as the culls failed, there are fears they may have increased the risk to cattle herds in the pilot areas.

Let's hope "Mike4Eastleigh" is also "Mike4Badgers" in 2014. By the way Mike, there is a new Early Day Motion on the subject for you to sign.

Picture credit: BadgerHero