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Author Topic: Constituency, bins and Green Belt  (Read 7203 times)

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GeoffAbell

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2016, 01:29:29 PM »
We've gone off topic a bit, but all the better for it!

@jimblob - email me.  Your "rant" actually makes a series of reasonable and knowledgeable points and grievances. 

So, cycling.  Ideally we'd have mostly segregated cycle paths, thus making cycling and driving easier.  I worked in Amsterdam for 6 months and cycled everywhere.  Often road intersections had trams, cars, cycles and pedestrians with or without light control.  And it worked a treat.  The only problem was other cyclists: they were many and didn't stop for any form of transport!
Copenhagen is a good example too where most cycle for short journeys.  Even London has new, segregated, commuter ways to the city centre.  Manchester are doing their bit around Oxford Road and even Stockport have an East-West corridor being constructed.  All is not lost.  But there is a long way to go. 

Bias.  Yes government is particular has power and Labour tended to give grants to urban councils, and the Conservatives to rural.  (The 2 years of "transition funding" is an example, although Stockport did get some money from this.)  Right now, it is very, very hard for all councils.  All forms of government do do a lot more: 100 years ago welfare and social services did not really exist; they are now the biggest outgoing of government and councils respectively.

I am a lowly councillor, a humble servant.  I still have the ear of officers for individual casework, but strategy and finance are with the ruling Labour group.  It is easy to be cynical, sometimes with reason, sometimes not.  But I put my hand up.  And for these duties, voters in Marple North pay about 90p a year for each councillor.  (So about 2p a week.) I think that's a bargain!

In response to @Condate to be fair, the council leader, Alex Genotis, has gone on record saying he wants to implement others' ideas too.  To be inclusive.  You don't tend to hear that from the Prime Minister of whatever colour.

marpleexile

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2016, 10:08:55 PM »
If that's so, it shows there is something very wrong about the way councils are run. Every councillor, where from the ruling party, an opposition party, or no party at all should have exactly the same ability to get things done if what they want has merit. The people making decisions should make those decisions purely on their merits and not be in any way influenced by which, if any, the councillor raising the issue comes from. Indeed at a parliamentary level, this happens to some extent at least as many MPs of all parties often manage to do well for constituenents and their problems, regardless of who is in government. I'd hope the same applies at local level.

Erm....

In a perfect world, yes that should be the case. In the reality...

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2016, 08:33:21 PM »
Councillor,

Instead of suggesting to members of YOUR electorate that they step forward and do your job, why don't you just do it yourself. You are the one who stood, so why don't you just get on with it.

I agree with Hoffnung, all Marple Councillors seem to do now is keep silent except when they criticise the other's party politics. Perhaps that is what comes of having a 50/50 lib Dem/ Tory split. This is bad enough in itself but when you are insulting members of the public as well, then you are going too far.

I only hope that we have some independent candidates in 2018.

Show some respect.... Councillor.

@simonesaffron I remained perfectly respectful. I am getting on with the job, I enjoy it. But clearly Hoffnung does not think I or any other Councillors are up to the job, so i suggested that if they think they can do it better, put themselves forward. How,is that an insult?

Condate

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2016, 07:27:00 PM »
Pragmatically speaking, yes.

Councillors (and MPs) from the controlling party are generally able to get the best deals for their constituents, as they or their friends are the people making the decisions. So had we voted Labour, we'd now be represented by Councillors who are members of the controlling party, and thus in a better position to do things for us.

If that's so, it shows there is something very wrong about the way councils are run. Every councillor, where from the ruling party, an opposition party, or no party at all should have exactly the same ability to get things done if what they want has merit. The people making decisions should make those decisions purely on their merits and not be in any way influenced by which, if any, the councillor raising the issue comes from. Indeed at a parliamentary level, this happens to some extent at least as many MPs of all parties often manage to do well for constituenents and their problems, regardless of who is in government. I'd hope the same applies at local level.

marpleexile

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2016, 06:22:21 PM »
Are you saying we would get a better deal by voting labour?

Pragmatically speaking, yes.

Councillors (and MPs) from the controlling party are generally able to get the best deals for their constituents, as they or their friends are the people making the decisions. So had we voted Labour, we'd now be represented by Councillors who are members of the controlling party, and thus in a better position to do things for us.

jimblob

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2016, 03:13:58 PM »
Geoff
More of an observation of politics in general, nothing personal. Brexit will now be debated until we forget what we had a referendum for in the first place. I do like any excuse for a good quote though.

My own experiences of local councillors in Marple is maybe tainted by an ex-councillor(s) commitment to sort the bus stop c**k-up outside my house that never materialised (a very long story, which I won't bore this thread with but am happy to impart if you're really a "doer" as you say).
Then we have the "only to be expected" inept capabilities of Stockport's highway planning department, excelling only in self preservation rather than genuinely improving our highways and bi-ways such that it benefits the masses rather than a minority, hell bent on a liberal ideal of safety-utopia and access for all over highways that simply facilitate commuter travel that ultimately supports our local economy. Sitting in a traffic jam one morning and explaining that their Bramhall Green roundabout "improvements" had added 20 minutes to my commute and that they might wish to join me to see first hand the effects, only to be told that it wasn't best use of their time was kind of insulting and very condescending I felt. (thanks Mary Clarke).

Perfect opportunity to attach some photos from a recent business trip to the Netherlands. A small town (Woerden), much like Marple. Segregated cycle lanes and a cycle park at the station to die for. If you're going to do cycle lanes THIS is how you do it. Look at Chester Road, and Cllr Christine Corris' traffic calming scheme that included cycle lanes. Makes me embarrassed to even live near it and very aggrieved that my CT was spent on something that contravenes D.O.T. design guidelines and is more dangerous for cyclists than it was previously. (the residents are no doubt happy though, and not unsurprisingly, they were the only people consulted at the time). I believe shortly afterwards, Cllr Corris lost her seat in that ward but see she's re-appeared to wreak speed bump havoc elsewhere.

A little closer to home, the widening of the pavement on Railway Road for the end of the national cycle route. The council buy land from the Railway Pub and from Josh Robinsons, but not quite enough to widen the entire 50yard stretch of pavement. (not a big project you'd think given the length of pavement involved). They couldn't buy the bit in the middle though because there was a building on it that didn't have planning permission! But they still bought both ends, spend 9 weeks re-building a beautiful stone wall at one end, slap ugly concrete fencing at the other but fundamentally don't achieve a widened pavement for shared use despite new "shared use" signs suggesting the contrary. They did grant retrospective planning permission as well as grant the erection of more buildings there that actually followed the same boundary line. I shudder to think how many meetings, plans and discussions were involved in the delivery of an entirely useless "improvement". Add to that the cost of (£150k) replacing the existing crossing opposite Dale Road with a Toucan crossing such that it was more cycle friendly, and you'd think councils aren't short of money.
The grass verge outside my house gets mowed once a year by the council because we're short of money, so I tend the edges and mow it weekly myself to keep it looking at its best, just for the council's weed-killer brigade to come along and spray the edge (a whole foot's width of the edge I hasten to add) with weed-killer to prevent it growing onto the pavement. (fear they might be sued by someone who trips on a blade of grass that's not supposed to be where it decides to grow?).
We get suggestions to tarmac over the allotments to provide more parking to Rose Hill station, because allotments are for affluent middle lass folk seeking "The good life", that in itself creates more traffic into and out of Marple, driving over more speed bumps and past 10 yard stretches of pretend cycle lanes; but it fundamentally DOESN'T fix the problem....HELP!

I could go on, but fear you'd lose your interest, raise my blood pressure, or possibly both. What I do know is that I could rant all day and NOTHING would change.

...... and breath  :D ..
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens
--- Woody Allen

GeoffAbell

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2016, 02:01:26 PM »
When I started this thread, I genuinely wanted to know what people thought of these issues and I have got a flavour of that.  We also meet residents very frequently on doors or inside (even though there is no election).  After all, we are your representatives.

I know Kenny can be a bit political at times, but I have seen him do things for his community.

I am also proud that in Marple North all 3 councillors (2 LD and 1 Tory) have cautiously started working together and with officers.  So, for example, the resurfacing of Town St in Marple Br will be done with a minimum of impact to businesses and residents there.

Sorry to disappoint @Hoffnung but there is no local election in 2017 - only one for a mayor of Greater Manchester.

And lovely quotes @jimblob but it's easy to throw mud.  If you add up all the time I am on council business, I get about 1/3 minimum wage.  I am not complaining, I volunteered.  And this place is alive, not just because of 6 councillors and their officers, but the work of societies, volunteers, businesses etc out there.  And it could be better.  When you say "We are not doing owt"  be more specific, cos I think we are doing a lot.  Still, good Hamlet quote in particular....

jimblob

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2016, 10:40:43 AM »
Looking back through this thread, it's quite astonishing that local councillors have so much time to offer up lengthy responses to fellow councillors along with the odd re-quote from a constituent with an accompanying excuse. Shakespeare now springs to mind...

"Sorry," [Hamlet] said, rubbing his temples. "I don't know what came over me. All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to talk for a very long time without actually doing anything".....

Indecision has far greater consequences than a wrong decision, so just do SOMETHING, please; and have the courage to stand by that decision rather than doing nothing and blaming everyone else for what has or hasn't gone before.
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens
--- Woody Allen

simonesaffron

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2016, 08:57:51 AM »
Councillor,

Instead of suggesting to members of YOUR electorate that they step forward and do your job, why don't you just do it yourself. You are the one who stood, so why don't you just get on with it.

I agree with Hoffnung, all Marple Councillors seem to do now is keep silent except when they criticise the other's party politics. Perhaps that is what comes of having a 50/50 lib Dem/ Tory split. This is bad enough in itself but when you are insulting members of the public as well, then you are going too far.

I only hope that we have some independent candidates in 2018.

Show some respect.... Councillor.

Condate

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2016, 09:57:46 PM »
@Hoffnung Perhaps you would like to stand?

Well, I'd probably vote for almost any candidate who was not a member of a political party. Perhaps at least one of the ordinary votes should stand. The last thing we need are the current lot of councillors who give the impression that their main policy is to oppose whatever the other parties do, or to make party political points about issues which are not actually about politics and where the issue does not relate to philosophical differenced between the parties at all. Whether that's the case or not, it's certainly the perception of a large number of voters.

When it comes to the question of whether the proposed development is appropriate, please stick to the issue and don't get bogged down in pointless attempts to score party political points or aguments about which party is to blame, or which party is doing most to address the issue.
 


CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2016, 08:49:32 PM »
Thank you Councillor for your response.

What we really need in Maple are some Councillors who are independent of all parties.

We live in hope, maybe the 2017 local elections will help us realise our expectations, who knows.

@Hoffnung Perhaps you would like to stand?

jimblob

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2016, 03:51:02 PM »
Thank you Councillor for your response.

What we really need in Maple are some Councillors who are independent of all parties.

We live in hope, maybe the 2017 local elections will help us realise our expectations, who knows.

We do seem to hear an awful lot of rhetoric, reports are produced, committees formed, working parties created, proposals made, but the same old s**t still seems to happen, (or not; as the case may be)...

Sigmund Freud: "He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things."
George Canning"Indecision and delays are the parents of failure."


It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens
--- Woody Allen

Hoffnung

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2016, 03:38:15 PM »
Thank you Councillor for your response.

What we really need in Maple are some Councillors who are independent of all parties.

We live in hope, maybe the 2017 local elections will help us realise our expectations, who knows.   


ringi

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 04:03:28 PM »
Labour are in charge and don't have anyone in Marple or Romiley. 

Are you saying we would get a better deal by voting labour?

CllrKennyBlair

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Re: Constituency, bins and Green Belt
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 03:45:53 PM »
@Hoffnung I agree with your point on Council motions, as had already been discussed elsewhere on this forum. The motion on Thursday night on Grammar schools was pointless and it was stated during the 'debate'. I have recently written to the Leader of the Council about this very topic.
As to the rest of your points -

Does it really matter whether it was a Lib Dem or a Conservative Councillor who first suggested the cessation of Committee Teas. Does it really matter to the people of High Lane what the party political composition of the government was when the contaminated land grants were halted.


It doesn't matter who suggested it and as already said, we seem to all agree it is a good idea. But if it is a good idea now, it was also a good idea before May when the Lib Dems ran the Council and had the power to implement, rather than just raising it as a good idea.
The point was that they had ample opportunity to implement this when they were in power. I give credit where it is due and do not take credit for things I have not been involved with. Unfortunately, they do take credit for things they have not been involved with and it is fundamentally wrong. A bit like a meeting I had today. I invited the Executive Member for Economy & Regeneration to Marple to look at Marple and see what could be done to regenerate Marple. We walked round the town, talked to shopkeepers, the Civic Society and others. This came about as a result of me questioning the amount of investment in Stockport town centre and a plea not to forget the other town centres in the area. The Lib Dems have been in control of Stockport for 18 years and indeed I believe the previous Exec Member was a Marple Councillor but no plan and no money was ever invested in Marple. (i appreciate that no money and no plan has been made because of one visit, but at least it is now on the agenda and discussions have started) But the Lib Dems wanted to have a meeting today after they found out about my meeting. Why didn't they look at investing in Marple when they were in power? This is not party politicking, it is just a plain fact. Only by me pushing for this, did any meeting take place but no doubt they will try to take credit for it, having done little or no work.
As for the other point, it probably doesn't, but I don't like mis-information being given out. People always, rightly, state they want politicians to be more honest.

Are the Councillors of Marple just going to allow themselves to be whipped into a party stance by their Town Hall and Westminster bosses, whilst housing estates rise from the ground left right and centre?
When we have an extra 4000 houses on our green belt who will we blame. We know who our Lib Dem Councillors and our Tory Councillors will blame - each other.

This has already been covered elsewhere on this forum, but I have not been whipped to vote any particular way, especially on this topic. And I don't have a boss at Town Hall or Westminster. I take my instructions from residents.

Why don't you raise a motion at Full Council whereupon the whole council (all parties, all wards) can debate Stockport's part in the GMSF. This would be a lot more relevant than debating Theresa May's comments on Grammar Schools as you did at the last meeting.     

I already addressed the Grammar schools debate above. The GMSF will be discussed I am sure at Scrutiny Committees and at Full Council before being voted on, so no need for any motion at this stage.

In fact our current crop of Councillors seemingly, rarely speak at the Council Meetings. Our previous Councillors may not have posted on this website but they had plenty to say at Council meetings. We seem to have inherited a bunch of silent Councillors currently. 

You clearly don't take as much interest as Geoff has given you credit for. Cllr Ingham spoke on Thursday night, as did Cllr Allan and I spoke on three occasions on different topics. All other Councillors have spoken at other Council meetings. The previous Councillors you refer to, Cllr Candler and Cllr Alexander, spoke on a frequent basis as they were part of the Executive, who were questioned on a frequent basis by the other Councillors. In fact, I think I questioned Cllr Candler in one of my first meetings and was accused on here of party politicking. So, if I do speak, i am party politicking and if I don't, i am a silent Councillor.
Whether we like it or not, politics plays a part in local government. I have no doubt that Sue, Geoff and Malcolm want the best for the Marple Area as do Tom, Annette and I. We just have differing views in how that is achieved, and I am sure we probably have different ideas to you as well.

However, I don't really think it would matter what any of the Councillors do or say, you would disagree. I guess it is easy to sit behind a keyboard criticising and harder to get out and actually do something or put forward meaningful alternatives or even come to a Marple Area Committee and introduce yourself to the Councillors and have meaningful conversations. If you don't think the current Councillors are doing a good job, get out from behind your keyboard and put yourself forward.