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Author Topic: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors  (Read 11906 times)

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Hoffnung

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2015, 12:16:28 PM »
Hoffnung, have you ever reported this to one of your Councillors? I for one have never received a phone call, visit to my surgery or email from you concerning this topic. If you send me the details and who you have reported it to i can look into it for you.

It has been reported many times. The reason Councillor that you have probably never heard of the issue is because Brabyns/Station Rd is not in your ward. However feel most welcome to try and resolve it.

Furthermore, Thank you for responding to my post. In fact we have had a comparative, veritable explosion of posts from Councillors/Candidates recently. It is unprecedented  but a far as I am concerned most welcome.

As for your other post CllrKennyBlair, it is indeed interesting.

I though heard things slightly differently. This version was as follows: There was no other candidate so you were asked to stand. When you pointed out that you had a full time demanding job that involved international travel and that you just didn't have the time to fight an election or be a Councillor, you were told by your party managers that it didn't matter, you weren't expected to do much during the election, just show your face a bit in the last week, that you couldn't possibly win anyway that you were only what is known as a 'paper candidate,' and that you would be helping the party.

But of course win you did. I have mixed views on that result, but those views for another time. After you won, you realized that you couldn't undertake any daytime commitments. So the first thing you did was to inform your colleagues that you couldn't do your Saturday Morning Surgeries. They are on Saturday mornings for obvious reasons. There will be much you cannot do during the day which is vital to your role as a Councillor, only your constituents will not get to know about this. There is little that you can do about, if you've got to be in Hamburg, you've got to be in Hamburg. YOU CAN'T EVEN STAND DOWN, YOUR PARTY WON'T LET YOU, so your electorate will have to put up with the situation until 2019.

I don't doubt your well meaning and your commitment, I won't be asking your fiance or your three month old baby, as you suggest (I wish both of whom I well) for evidence of it, to ask the first would be an intrusion on your private life and to ask your child I would doubtless receive a childish answer.

I have no criticism of you, it is just that the first credential that a constituent needs from his/her Councillor is that he is there and you can't be.

If you look at the make-up of Councillors in Stockport, you will see that there are very few, if any at all, out of 63 who have traditional full time jobs, this is no coincidence and whilst you may have everything else that it takes to be a good Councillor, you don't have the time.           


In small example of this you  now inform that you have changed your surgeries to Mondays. Who is this to suit, your constituents?         

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2015, 12:31:51 AM »
We've got another two who are brand new, one of these rookies has a full time job. We've got another who also has a full time job and apparently we've got one who has been in Oldham all week, helping his party with the forthcoming by-election.

As well as this, there is also the party politicking, which we are now getting, which only serves to be divisive. Don't take my word for this watch Cllrs Candler and Blair's clash at the last Council Meeting. Next year we will have even two more brand new Councillors and if the prospective Lib Dem candidates are successful then both these Councillors will have full time jobs. 

A new thread split from "Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park". Admin.     

Yes, I am a new 'rookie' Councillor. I had no interest in politics until a few years ago. I was getting more involved with a local issue and saw the standard of representation on the Marple Area Committee which was firstly not representative of the society we live in and secondly, appeared to be a very comfortable committee. I thought I could do a better job, so put my money where my mouth was and was lucky that i was successful in being elected. I am sorry the job i am doing is not to the standard you want.
I do have a full time job, as much as I would love it to, the Councillor job does not pay the mortgage. As another contributor has already stated, Councillors are normal members of society who are there to hold the Council to account and provide strategic direction. Time management is the key and to question my commitment when you have never raised any issues with me directly or understand the work i do as a Councillor is a prejudgement of the highest order. You can ask my fiance and 3 month old baby about my commitment to my Council work when I spend most of my working week at my full time job only to spend most of the evenings at meetings within Town Hall or with residents or answering emails and conducting research, missing out on valuable family time! I am currently on a Development weekend in Nottingham, away from my family again and paid for out of my own funds to help me improve as a Councillor, because I am not a professional politician. Indeed responding to this post in this way is probably not in the professional politicians handbook!
Yes, I did miss one of my surgeries due to work commitments, but had this covered by my colleague. My job frequently involves international travel and as I said it is this that pays the mortgage. I will in fact miss my next one on the 7th Dec in High Lane as I will be in Hamburg, but you do not need to wait for my surgery, (which are held the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, not every 6 weeks)  to raise issues with me. I dont expect or want you to feel sorry for me, it is my choice but do not question my commitment to representing the residents of Marple Area.
As for my alleged party politicing with Cllr Candler at the last Council meeting, we have an Executive Question time during full Council meetings. It must also be remembered that this meeting discusses all of Stockport, not just Marple. My first question to Cllr Candler was relating to the A6 MARR road, a considerable concern of residents in parts of my ward, which was raised by a local resident and had not been answered. I did my job and held the Executive to account. This was not politicing.
The second question was a follow on to that question relating to the lack of options available for mitigation as promised by the Council. As Cllr Candler is responsible for that area, a reasonable question to ask.
The third question related to another question asked by a resident which had been responded to but the response was dismissive and indeed incorrect, thereby potentially misleading the public. I was holding the Executive member to account, I did my job. This is not politicing.
If you do need assistance with anything, then by all means raise it with me directly by telephone, email or letter and I will certainly look into it on your behalf. All of my contact details are on the Stockport Council website.

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2015, 11:45:26 PM »
Hello,

Thank you,

To all whom supported my introduction to this website.

Our public realm is deteriorating for sure and I don't think that it has much to do with money. As Dave says, it isn't asking much to keep our parks in order.

There are numerous examples of this disorder. Here's one, I've just walked up from Marple Bridge to Marple. It was raining heavily, water was cascading down the road and I got drenched by the splash back from the passing traffic, it was unavoidable. Every other gully in the road was blocked. That's not lack of money, that's just lack of interest.

A new thread split from "Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park". Admin.     

Hoffnung, have you ever reported this to one of your Councillors? I for one have never received a phone call, visit to my surgery or email from you concerning this topic. If you send me the details and who you have reported it to i can look into it for you.

Hoffnung

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2015, 02:35:04 PM »
Yes I agree Simone, this forum is a fantastic piece of work an absolute asset to our community.

I disagree Franz, it is not full of moaners and whingers. On the contrary some of the posts are even quite entertaining.

I am not really in a position right now Simone to answer all your questions about forthcoming elections. What I can say is, no it is not pure speculation on my part. There is an idea by a small group of people to support the election of  'independent' candidates for Marple. It is recognised that this plan needs to be over a period and eyes are more on  2018/19 elections than on the next one.

It is also recognised that at least one candidate would have to stand in 2016. There area a few hoops to jump through yet, but it is hopeful that an announcement can be made in the new year and in good time for the 2016 elections.     

hollins

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2015, 11:30:33 AM »
Perhaps Wheels can explain Stockport Councillors' thought processes here:
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/residents-anger-stockport-council-extortion-10502860

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2015, 10:06:11 AM »
Yet again you make a fair point about party politics and local government Condate.

I wouldn't place too much credibility in Wheels's definition of the role of a local Councillor. All on this forum know that he has a heavy, vested, personal pursuit in preserving the local political status-quo. His situation in local government terms would undoubtedly  be described as having..."a conflict of interest."  Even, bearing this in mind it is often beyond the wit of most of us, to decipher his philosophical, Joyceian,  meanderings.

As for your allegation Franz, that this forum is full of moaners and whingers. There are many amongst us I am sure ( I am such a one) who feel eternally grateful to the people who set up and manage this website, as it is the only vehicle that gives us the opportunity to engage with our neighbours in a free and candid interchange.

Neither should it go unmentioned that this forum was set up independently by our own neighbours in our own community and that the council (to their shame) have never made any kind of contribution to it.

Which once again reminds me. It has been said many times before, I know, but why in all the years, with all the vast and various issues that we have had in Marple, have our local representatives been conspicuous by their absence on this forum? It is nothing short of disrespect to their own electorate.

Perhaps with your IN position, you know the answer Wheels?

Even better, perhaps one of our six elected representatives, sitting out their could offer a view.

Or perhaps you do admin?   

 

wheels

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2015, 08:18:29 PM »
Then local government is broken. There is no room at all for party politics at council level. I think there is a real problem, in that the role of a councillor as you describe it, is not at all what I, or I suspect most people expect and deserve it to be. We need to be urging MPs to change the legislation to make councils what they are supposed to be.

Thankfully I totally disagree

wheels

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2015, 08:17:06 PM »
The residents of Heald Green obviously feel differently with their independent ratepayer representatives. At a national level I seem to recall a very effective independent MP for Wyre(sp?) Forest whose constituents obviously had more faith in him than the other mainstream offerings.

The Heald Green Independents work fundementally as a political group and have a large membership. Candidates go through a selection process and are selected by the members they are not independents in the sense you mean at all. Further they work as a political group together with the other three political groups in the council

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2015, 07:33:16 PM »
So what exactly is your point Franz?

Are you saying that most people that post on this site are moaners and whingers? Are you saying that everything in Marple is as good as it ever has been, or perhaps better?

You mention the quality of the Independent Candidate who's identity we are yet unaware of, if indeed there is one at all. What do you think of the quality of our current candidates.

And the big issue, which I think Hoffnung makes. Has Marple had enough of Tories/Lib Dems.

Why do you continually apologise for the Council's shortcomings ?

       

Franz

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2015, 06:57:29 PM »
I don't look at this forum all that often but when I do too many of the posts consist of people moaning and whinging, very often about the council and our councillors, and seldom do they have anything constructive to say. This is a good example. Hoffnung's issue is hardly a single one, or if it is it's a very broad one, deterioration and disorder within the public realm coupled with totally inadequate representation. Three long posts full of criticism and not a single constructive comment, just one question, would we vote for an independent candidate? That rather depends on the quality of the candidate.

As far as my "environment" is concerned, I  have never been to a meeting of Stockport, or any other council, nor had I followed one online until Hoffnung invited his readers to witness the "clash" between Messrs Blair and Candler. I was certainly deterred when I found that the recording ran for more than four hours but it was possible through their efficient indexing to identify any discourse between two councillors. The only one I could find featuring those two contestant's comprised Mr Blair asking three reasonable questions and Mr Candler giving three reasonable answers, both in a calm and inoffensive manner. I had plenty of experience of clashes between local politicians during my time as a politically independent college governor and this just wasn't in the same league.

I am surprised that, after three or four years neglect, half the local drains are still effective. Those around our property need clearing at least every three months and, at this time of year, every week.

Dave

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2015, 01:49:19 PM »
The Leader of Stockport Council this morning got a 6.30 train to London as she was giving evidence to a House of Lords Committee.  She is booked on to a 2pm train back to Stockport and then has a meeting with senior officers to discuss the impact on Stockport of yesterday's Commons statement. Then it's on to a presentation event .....  Tomorrow she is at Trafford a Town Hall presenting the Housing Strategy for Greater Manchester

Perhaps wheels could provide some evidence for his implication that an independent councillor would be incapable of doing this? 

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2015, 12:58:14 PM »
Hello,

It wasn't my intention that this post should become about drains on Brabyns/Station Rd. However things have a way of taking their own twists and turns. What I will say about those particular drains is that: They do not work, they haven't worked for 3/4 years, they have been reported over and over to the council and they still do not work. Staying with drains for the moment, I've just been on an errand in Marple and I took the opportunity (sad I know) to take a spin around the place and have a cursory inspection of the road gullies, in the rain. I would say that of the number I inspected at least half of them were blocked.

I have not heard anybody, or heard of any anybody from the Council state that they do not have the money to maintain our drains.

Right, enough about drains.

As Franz said if we have an issue we can always; stand for the council, get elected and air it ourselves in the council chamber. However, if only because of the equation that, there are only 63 Council positions in the borough and there are probably around 200,000 people eligible to stand for these positions, it is highly likely that the vast majority of people will never get that opportunity. So what can we do to resolve these issues that we have?

Well we can go go and bring these issues to the notice of somebody who does have this opportunity, Our Councillor.

Now I for one don't expect the Councillor him/her self to clear the drains (sorry don't mention drains!) personally, but I expect in due course  for something to be done about these issues or at least an explanation give as to why it can't be.

As I said in my initial post, our public realm in Marple is deteriorating and I and many others lay the blame at our political representation, which I repeat is at its worst and is about to get worse, after the next election. It is distracted, unfocussed or about to leave.

To return to Franz's environment of the Council Debating Chamber. As many of you know, we can now watch the Council meeting on the internet. If you do decide to do this, (God help us) you will see and hear endless hours upon hours of talk that has nothing to do with Stockport and certainly nothing to do with Marple and is nothing more or less than part politicking. This is from all parties; Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem. They are all as guilty as each other.

I have a question to put to this forum, where the real people appear. That's another point, I have been reading this forum for three years now and I may be wrong but I don't recall one posting from one single Councillor. I think that this is disgraceful. At least during the recent Parliamentary elections, the candidates had the decency to come on this site and state their case.

Sorry, a digression, back to my question.

If an independent candidate were to present for the forthcoming local elections, would you be prepared to vote for him/her?

And before Franz, proposes and seconds in one go - No it definitely won't be me. 

Fighting an election is an expensive business in many ways and initially, I just want to see if there is any support out there for such a situation.   

         
   
       

Hoffnung, is this pure speculation on your part or do you know something more than the rest of us?

Do you have a plan? Do you have a candidate? Who is it?

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2015, 12:35:48 PM »
Wheels,

This time you've lost me completely.

There are hundreds of Independent Councillors the length and breadth of the country, probably around a thousand. We've got three in Stockport, who seem to get elected and re-elected year upon year. So their electorate must be happy with their performance.

How is an extract from a day in the life of Stockport's Council Leader an argument against having an Independent Councillor in Marple?

You say that ..."This is normal for Councillors..."

Are you trying to say that all Councillors get up at 6.30 am and travel to London. Then wizz back and give a presentation at Trafford and then develop  the housing strategy across Greater Manchester. I certainly hope that it isn't normal.

If that's the case no wonder the public realm in Marple is deteriorating.

Condate

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2015, 11:30:51 AM »
An independent!!!!!!!!!!!  ABSOLUTELY NOT NEVER.

There is a total misunderstand of some poster on the role of the Councillor in 2015.

Then local government is broken. There is no room at all for party politics at council level. I think there is a real problem, in that the role of a councillor as you describe it, is not at all what I, or I suspect most people expect and deserve it to be. We need to be urging MPs to change the legislation to make councils what they are supposed to be.

corium

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2015, 11:28:45 AM »
independents have no role in modern local government.

The residents of Heald Green obviously feel differently with their independent ratepayer representatives. At a national level I seem to recall a very effective independent MP for Wyre(sp?) Forest whose constituents obviously had more faith in him than the other mainstream offerings.