Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Lib Dems "Disdain" for Local People

A furious Hedge End resident has accused the Lib Dems on the HEWEB Local Area Committee of treating local residents with "disdain". Speaking for large numbers of people who had rearranged work, leisure and voluntary commitments to attend Monday's meeting, the local voter called into question the Council's commitment to local democracy.

The "special" committee meeting had been called to decide a controversial planning application for nearly a hundred houses between St Johns Road and Dodwell Lane. But that item was deferred without debate, discussion, public participation or even questions from members. People who made their way to the 2000 Centre to have their say, or just to listen to the debate, had wasted their time.

A couple of senior councillors were clearly annoyed that they were not allowed to speak or ask questions about the decision to defer. And residents in the public gallery voted with their feet and left the meeting.

Eastleigh Lib Dems were criticised in October when people missed the chance to speak on the Local Plan because the meeting started earlier than the published time.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

How Do Lib Dems Cut Services Without Cutting Services?

From Borough News - Autumn 2013
By making them somebody else's problem is the way they do it in Eastleigh. For some years Eastleigh Lib Dems have been transferring responsibilities away from the Borough to Town and Parish Councils. This allows them to keep Borough council tax increases below the rate of inflation. But residents still end up paying through their Town or Parish precept.

Only months after taking credit in "Borough News" for a "fantastic new open space" at Berrywood Meadow, Lib Dem Eastleigh Borough wants to transfer responsibility for the area to the Town Council.

As reported in the minutes of this month's Finance and Administration Committee, The Town Clerk has had meetings with Borough officers about the transfer of Berrywood Meadow and other areas of public open space. These include:
  • Open Space at Coulsdon Road, 
  • Green areas at Cranbourne Park, 
  • Footpath and green corridors around Downscroft Gardens,
  • Locke Road Open Space, 
  • Open Space to rear of Missenden Acres, and
  • Various footpaths in Grange Park.
If the Town Council can maintain these green spaces more efficiently and at lower cost to the Hedge End council tax payer than Eastleigh can, then I do not have a problem with the transfer. But we have to be clear there will be additional costs for the Town Council to bear in grounds staff time and equipment. It will be that much harder to avoid increases in the Town Council budget while the Lib Dems at Eastleigh will continue to crow about how they are keeping the council tax down without cutting services.

That is why I insisted at the meeting that we are given full and credible cost estimates before any agreement is made to transfer responsibility.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Hedge End Beat Report January 2014

Tories Wake Up to UKIP Threat

With five days to go to the Wildern by election, the Tories woke up this week and finally got a leaflet out. This means all five candidates, including Independent Ray Turner, have at least pushed something through our doors. Which is more than can be said of the (Lib Dem controlled) council. Voters will not be receiving polling cards in this penny pinching austerity by election.

Unfortunately (for the Tories) UKIP have followed up with a second leaflet today. 

Voting takes place on Thursday 13th February, between 7am and 10pm, at The Box in Wildern Lane.

Details of all the candidates are in the notice of poll on the Town Council web site.

See also:
Voters Wooed in Wildern
Have Tories Handed Wildern to UKIP? 
Leading Lib Dem Leaves as Poll Looms

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Leading Lib Dem Leaves as Poll Looms

Vice-chair of Hedge End Town Council and Borough member for St Johns ward, Cllr Peter Hughes is no longer carrying the yellow rosette of the Lib Dems. He is now shown as an Independent on both the borough and town council web sites.

Joined by Cllr Caitlin Bloom who splits her time between Grange Park and Leicester, Peter's desertion from the Lib Dems means there are now three Independents on the Town Council in the lead up to the Wildern by election on 13th February. Independence is growing faster than any of the political parties in Hedge End.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Have Tories Handed Wildern to UKIP?

There was no sign of life at Tory Party HQ in Hedge End when I walked past their "southern parishes" clubhouse today.

There is a town council by election on 13th February. The independent candidate, Ray Turner, UKIP, Labour and Lib Dems have all been delivering leaflets. But nothing from the Tories.

With 41% of Conservative members favouring some kind of electoral pact with UKIP, have our local Tories decided to stab their coalition partners in the back and let UKIP have a free run against the Lib Dems?

The Tories do have a record of not turning up in Eastleigh when the going gets tough...

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