Stephen’s View

It’s a busy evening for all three of us…. not time to write much.

But on the other side of the Crouch, in Chelmsford, Lib Dem Stephen Robinson wrote a good post yesterday:

Govt. gets it wrong again but won’t admit it

Another breakfast-spluttering moment today. The Government says it wants police, NHS and councils more locally accountable. Yes, they should be and the Lib Dems have been calling for this for years. So why ON EARTH have they spent the last 10 years (and the Tories did the same in the previous 18) taking powers AWAY from local councils? Talk about stating the bleedin’ obvious……..

We need a fairer voting system for local elections (as they have in Scotland) and changes to the system to make it easier for more people of working age to serve as councillors. Then councils would be more representative of the communities they serve. That, combined with more power for local councils, would lead to better decision making and more openness….

  • I agree Mike- honesty, openness and transparency are very important. The problem is that a huge amount of public perception is governed by what they read in reprehensible tabloid newspapers and biassed, untruthful news bulletins. Politicians seem to be forced to fit in with soundbite journalism and that is a real shame.
    I believe that local people should have a say in what goes on in their local area but this must be balanced with the needs of the region and the country as a whole. If every local council refused every planning application or new development, there would be a national crisis. Government at every level needs to work together so that the best decisions can be reached and new housing units can be shared out fairly.

  • I agree Alison, the only problem I have locally is the actual amount of housing that has been dumped on Rayleigh over the past few years, 45% of the districts housing, upto the end of 2006 I believe. Rayleigh now needs some respite and other parts of the district should take their fair share. We have all written, at length about the social consequences of over development and that is now manifesting itself in Rayleigh.

  • On another note, there are all these building companies announcing profit warnings, what happens when we enter a recession, and we are not far off now, and all these houses are built and no one can either afford them or are too cautious to move? What will the Government do then?

  • I do think that something has to be done to help more working age people come forward to serve as councillors. In the interests of democracy you need a cross section of representatives. Also long serving members feel can forced to carry on when perhaps they feel that they have done their bit and would like to hand the baton to someone else only that there is no one else to hand it to.