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Author Topic: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors  (Read 11905 times)

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wheels

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2015, 11:06:11 AM »
An independent!!!!!!!!!!!  ABSOLUTELY NOT NEVER.

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

Let me give an example. 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. That's a 24% budget curt £4.1 billion in local government over this parliament.  Then it's on to a presentation event .....  Tomorrow she is at Trafford a Town Hall presenting the Housing Strategy for Greater Manchester  to the other 9 council leaders across Greater Manchester(as Leader of Stockport she is also responsible for housing and low carbon policy across Greater Manchester) ...... and so it goes on . This is normal for councillors independents have no role in modern local government.

Hoffnung

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2015, 10:36:05 AM »
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.   

         
   
       

wheels

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 10:34:29 PM »
The current Leader of Stockport certainly had to give up a better paid job to becomeCouncil Leader as did the current Torry Leader of Trafford and of course the role as a Councillor is not pensionable so that makes it an even less attractive role for many people. The current leader could only really do it as she had built up a significant pension from 35 yrs employment and it came at the right time for her but I agree the current set up does limit those who can fulfil the role.

I think there is still a massive misunderstand as to the role of the councillor as redefined by government in the 1990. The role is very definitely NOT  to get involved in matter which should be dealt with by officer but is to set strategic objectives. Certainly deal with case work and report it if a drain is blocked then leave it to the professionals to deal with. The Councillors role is to set the agenda for the town their role and the 1950s role of the councillor are really now very different.

I believe I have moved your text outside of the quotes @wheels . Can you please take a bit more care to ensure you type below the end of /quote in []'s as you are doing it often and it's even harder than usual to figure out what you're saying! Admin

Your correct admin many thanks for that.

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 06:06:44 PM »
Franz, that is what this forum is often for, to promote discussion about local issues. Sometimes this involves praise and sometimes even criticism.

Just because we have an individual issue we can't all go haring off and stand for election. This forum is full of posts that are criticisms. We can't all be local councillors, there are only six in Marple and its population is over 20,000. If your remedy for everybody that has an issue is to stand for election, then maybe you should stand yourself, rid yourself of some of that annoyance on the campaign trail.   

This forum is often our council chamber and we are its elected members.

Franz

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 05:08:36 PM »
Hoffnung, how wrong can you be? I have regularly walked Brabyn's Brow, and to a lesser extent Station Road, for the past 36 years so much for it being "obvious" to you that I don't, and, to the best of my recollection, I  have never been inconvenienced by cascades of water.

So you think I might perhaps work for the council but perhaps I don't, never have done, and never will do, I just get annoyed at people who moan about the council but do little or nothing about it. There are those who get off their backsides and themselves endeavour to improve the "public realm" and they have my admiration and respect but there are others who do nothing but complain. Surely the place to air these criticisms and to get them remedied, is the council chamber? You obviously feel strongly about the situation so perhaps you should reconsider and offer yourself for election as Amazon suggests? You ask for ideas as to how to break the Lib Dems/Tories stranglehold and I can think of no other than for you and others of like mind to replace them.

Incidentally, when you next post please direct me to the Blair/Candler clash. I would very much like to see it. The agenda item would be fine.


wheels

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2015, 04:37:32 PM »
The points that you make about Councillors and jobs are well made. I have no first hand experience of being a Councillor  and I'm guessing that you haven't either. I do though have 2 relatives and 1 friend  who are/have been recent serving Councillors. All three of them say that it is now virtually impossible to reconcile the duties of a serving Councillor with a regular 9 to 5 job.

Your point about Councillor's and their parties is interesting. I would like to see more independent Councillors who didn't have to forsake their own wards to tow the party line.

With this in mind how do we in Marple break the stranglehold the Lib Dems/ Tories have over Marple, any ideas?

The current Leader of Stockport certainly had to give up a better paid job to becomeCouncil Leader as did the current Torry Leader of Trafford and of course the role as a Councillor is not pensionable so that makes it an even less attractive role for many people. The current leader could only really do it as she had built up a significant pension from 35 yrs employment and it came at the right time for her but I agree the current set up does limit those who can fulfil the role.

I think there is still a massive misunderstand as to the role of the councillor as redefined by government in the 1990. The role is very definitely NOT  to get involved in matter which should be dealt with by officer but is to set strategic objectives. Certainly deal with case work and report it if a drain is blocked then leave it to the professionals to deal with. The Councillors role is to set the agenda for the town their role and the 1950s role of the councillor are really now very different.

I believe I have moved your text outside of the quotes @wheels . Can you please take a bit more care to ensure you type below the end of /quote in []'s as you are doing it often and it's even harder than usual to figure out what you're saying! Admin

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2015, 04:03:05 PM »
Dave's explanation makes sense, as his posts often do.

I would also like to support Hoffnung's reflection of the drains on Brabyns/Station Rd. Although not on foot I often travel up and down that hill, have done for many years. When it rains the drains overflow, they have been like that for 3 years at least, exactly as Hoffnung suggests. Dave infers that the council have probably stopped maintaining them because of the cost and he is probably right. Drains though are a fundamental and if we don't maintain them we know what happens.

Hoffnung can speak for him/herself but I took his main point to be the poor political representation that now exists in Marple. Hence why we have such drains and other such fundamental neglect.
 
I have long been a Lib Dem supporter but have become disillusioned with them of late. If an independent candidate were to present themselves at the next local election, then I would probably support them.

It is though hard to visualise one appearing and even harder to visualise them having any impact against the Tory/Lib Dem monopoly that exists in Marple.   

Dave

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2015, 01:00:27 PM »
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.

Although I tend to agree with some of what Hoffnung writes, I think I need to explain my point about the modest cost of maintaining, upgrading or replacing childrens playground equipment -swings, roundabouts etc, and to explain why that is relatively 'cheap' compared with the cost of cleaning out blocked drains.

I'm no accountant, but I do know that local authority (and other organisations') spending comes in two broad categories: recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure.  Recurrent expenditure, as its name implies, happens continuously, and is accounted for within the financial year in which it occurs.  That includes all staff costs, of course.

Capital expenditure, on the other hand, such as investment in land or buildings or other assets which have a value, is accounted for over a number of years - at least five, and often more, depending on how long it is expected to last and retain value.

So if installing new swings were to cost, say £5,000, that cost would be accounted for over perhaps ten years, at £500 per year.  So it's cheap in terms of its impact on any one year's accounts. 

But clearing drains isn't capital spending, it's pay costs - you need staff to do it, and then keep doing it over and over again.  But local authorities have been shedding staff at a huge rate over the past five years, as cumulative government cuts of about 40% have continued to bite.  That's the main reaosn why the drains are overflowing!     

Hoffnung

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 11:07:39 AM »
Hello Amazon,

Thank you for your vote of civic confidence, even though I think that you gave it tongue-in-cheek. Even if you were serious, for a variety of reasons I would be most unsuitable to stand for that role. So I am not the answer.

Franz,

Whilst as admin quite rightly says, the Station Rd/Brabyns gullies were only a small example to illustrate my point, I will respond to your assertion. You obviously do not walk regularly up/down those two roads as I do, otherwise you would not make such erroneous claims about ..."3/4 weeks." Those gullies have been in that state of malfunction now for at 3/4 YEARS, NOT WEEKS! I personally have reported them to the Council and so have others but the situation remains and when it rains heavily the road floods in a way that it never has before - those gullies need fixing - simple as that. As for your question about how many drains do I think there are in Stockport ?  I don't know and I don't care,for the purpose of my post I am only interested in those in Brabyns, Brabyns is local  and that's my point.

Simone is right, your post does read like an apology from the Council, perhaps you work for them, perhaps you have responsibility for the drains? 

As for Councillors getting ...'more votes than other candidates...' you are of course correct, and this is democracy. We should though also ponder upon candidates themselves. At the Lib Dem hustings for Marple North,(where I live) in 2014, the sole nominee could not even attend his own hustings because of 'work commitments.' In fact he sent his own wife along to deliver his speech, it was farcical. Normally such an absence, would have demonstrated such a blatant lack of commitment and interest that he would have been disqualified. Despite their search there was no other candidate, he was the sole applicant, so he was nodded through. Being a Lib Dem he won the election and is now one of our Councillors.

For years the Tories were so short of candidates for Marple that they fielded anybody that was prepared to stand, no matter what their credentials were. Many of these candidates had no connection to Stockport let alone Marple, they were just paper candidates. After the Marple election this year, one successful Tory Councillor announced that because of work commitments he couldn't attend his own surgery, which is every six weeks and for two hours on a Saturday morning. Now there is commitment for you.

Condate,

The points that you make about Councillors and jobs are well made. I have no first hand experience of being a Councillor  and I'm guessing that you haven't either. I do though have 2 relatives and 1 friend  who are/have been recent serving Councillors. All three of them say that it is now virtually impossible to reconcile the duties of a serving Councillor with a regular 9 to 5 job.

Your point about Councillor's and their parties is interesting. I would like to see more independent Councillors who didn't have to forsake their own wards to tow the party line.

With this in mind how do we in Marple break the stranglehold the Lib Dems/ Tories have over Marple, any ideas?   


 
     

admin

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 07:42:09 PM »
Most drain blockage would have occurred over the past 3/4 weeks.

It's only a small aspect of this thread but (lack of) cleaning of drains in Marple has been a serious problem of neglect for at least a couple of years. There are drains in Marple, like the one on Hibbert Lane near the college, that have been reported to the council over and over again because the roads flood whenever there is a good downpour but they have done nothing about them - or they have tried and failed, which is much the same thing in my book.

Condate

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 06:49:14 PM »
It is good that councillors have full time jobs. That's the general idea. Councillors are supposed to be ordinary members of the public who give up some of their spare time to sit on the council and use their experience to the benefit of the borough. I'd much rather have a councillor with a proper job than a professional politician.

Obviously, having a full time job doesn't automatically make someone a good councillor and neither does being a professional politician of itself make someone a bad councillor. What I would like to see though are more councillors who are not members of any political party. That could certainly improve things, although it's not a guarantee of good local government.

simonesaffron

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 06:45:46 PM »
You sound like an apologist for the council Franz.

I think Hoffnung makes some good points. The reference that you make to the drain blockage in para 2 of your apology on the Council's behalf proves his/her point exactly.


Franz

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 06:00:49 PM »
If it takes so little to keep our parks in order then go and do it, others do.

Most drain blockage would have occurred over the past 3/4 weeks. I wonder how many drains there are in Stockport? 1000, 5000? I have no idea but I don't suppose the teams responsible for clearance head straight to Brabyn's Brow as the top priority in the Metropolitan Borough

Reference was made to The "clash" between Councillor's Blair and Candler at the last council meeting which was on 21st October. If that refers to their Q and A session under item 4b then it was incredibly bland, so bland that I wonder if there was another exchange which I have missed. In fact the whole meeting seemed to be conducted in quite a jolly atmosphere.

In the 1970s I was a college governor appointed to represent the interests of industry and commerce which, between them, accounted for 80% of the students and paid a similar proportion of the fees. The behaviour of the political appointees was pitiful, nothing but continuous bickering.

As far as councillors in full time employment are concerned, they are there because they got more votes than other candidates. Perhaps we should hand elections over to U3A whose members do not, by definition, have full time employment


amazon

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Re: Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 02:20:13 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.

The political representation of Marple within the council is the worst that it has been.

We've got two Councillors who are fully occupied and distracted being Executive Members and to make it even worse, both of them are standing down before the next election. 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. 

It is all a bit of a mess. What we need is some on the ground undistracted, focussed,  representation by committed Councillors who will speak up for and get things done in Marple.     

Austerity is going to be around for a while. We can't just blame the deterioration of our Public Realm on that for the next ten years. 


A new thread split from "Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park". Admin.     
Why dont you put up at the next election .and get things moving .

Hoffnung

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Deterioration of Public Realm and our local councillors
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 12:07:08 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.

The political representation of Marple within the council is the worst that it has been.

We've got two Councillors who are fully occupied and distracted being Executive Members and to make it even worse, both of them are standing down before the next election. 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. 

It is all a bit of a mess. What we need is some on the ground undistracted, focussed,  representation by committed Councillors who will speak up for and get things done in Marple.     

Austerity is going to be around for a while. We can't just blame the deterioration of our Public Realm on that for the next ten years. 


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