Sunday, 19 January 2014
The week that ended....19 January 2014
I had a busy week, not only did I return back to work but also I did my first Council meeting since my illness.
As usual with all the major planning applications that are currently going into the Council, this is a major worry for residents, of which I am one too. We, Cllr George Fairhurst and myself, have decided, due to the high level of emails and phone calls, to hold a public meeting to update people with all the details. I must sincerely apologise to all the many people that have emailed, I simply have not had time to respond to all of them, hence the meeting. Hopefully, this will give all the information to the residents. One thing for sure when the Council say that over the next 5 years or so that there will only be 1000 houses in Standish built I say Baloney! It will be at least 1500 to 2000.
One good bit of news is after nearly 10 years of campaigning to get rid of free food and drink in the Town Hall and cut down on money the Council have now decided to stop free food and drinks for evening meetings, which is a victory. However, it is not the success I would have hoped for as they are still continuing free food and drinks for day time meetings. The last time I asked how much it cost to feed Councillors I was told nearly £70,000. What a waste and it should stopped years ago.
Wednesday saw me return to my first Council meeting after my serious illness. Some interesting and big topics were discussed. The first was my motion to have Council meetings recorded and put on the Council's website. Labour refused this on the grounds that the Town Hall was being refurbished at the moment and also on the grounds of cost. However, like Hindley Green Ind Cllr Bob Brierley said, Labour has found £17,000 for one of their Cllrs to join the Cabinet. Funny how they can find money for themselves. Also to me it would have been a perfect time to install the equipment whilst the Town Hall is being refurbished. After all you wouldn't get your kitchen fitted and then rip parts out to put in new plug sockets, you would do it at the same time. For me it is important to get the meetings recorded as this allows the public to see what their Cllrs do for them, or do not in certain cases, and also hear debates that they may be interested in.
Also another big debate was whether to allow Atherton a referendum on having a Town/Parish Council or not. Labour refused this. Now I agree with Labour on the fact that they cost more and are more bureaucratic however, because of the number that signed the petition I would allow a referendum and conclude whether to the people want one or not. This is the only way to conclude what is right for the people by allowing them the choice.
I have been also dealing with residents issues on flooding and drain problems too which I hope to get resolved for them in the next few weeks.
Posted by Cllr Gareth Fairhurst at 03:02