Thursday, October 04, 2007

October Council

Full Council this evening, with Labour and the Tories locking horns during a two hour session.

Two highlights for me - firstly Tory new boy Alan Coultas lauding the Pedestrian Heart scheme, and in particular the changes which have been made to the Open Market. Alan made the comments genuinely, earning a snarl of disapproval from fellow Conservative Ian Galletley. After all, it was less than 6 months ago that the Conservatives were basing their entire election campaign on what a disaster the town centre has become.

Just as they miscalculated over the pedestrianisation of Skinnergate and the Market Place in the 1990's, the Tories will come to regret trying to exploit for short-term political gain the Pedestrian Heart issue. Labour will not shrink from reminding them and local residents how it was the Conservatives who continually sneered at the scheme.

Then there was a surreal hiatus in proceedings when the leaders of the three political groups, together with Independent Councillor Steve Jones, lined up for a picture after signing a new protocal. From our position to the rear of the shot, Labour Councillors were treated to the intimate, almost loving embrace in which LibDem Peter Freitag held Tory Heather Scott. I would imagine Heather's face was a picture.

And they say that Tories and LibDems make uneasy bed-fellows... :)


the truth is out there said...

Alan Coultas may be a Conservative Councillor, but he's not a Conservative! The Conservatives' desperate attempts to sign up as many community activists as possible to swell their dwindling ranks in the run up to the 2007 local elections, by promising them seats on the Council, has always had the potential to backfire as these individuals find their feet and express their own personal views in public.

As for Peter...well, that's just Peter, bless 'im!

Adny Patterson said...

IF Alan Coultas is not Conservative... then what is he?

What are the rules... can he 'jump' camps?

Would he be welcomed?

An Activist said...

I too was approached to stand Conservative just to make the numbers up!

Anonymous said...

What's the protocol about then?

I White, Square eyes.. said...

The Protocol is a 1984 film....see summary below....

Sweet, unsophisticated Sunny is working as a cocktail waitress. She saves a visiting dignitary and as a reward she gets a top-office job in the Washington beehive. She has to fight against a devious protocol officer but with her charms, she saves the day when she gets involved in an arms deal with an Arab

Anonymous said...

IF I recall the pedestrianisation of the Market Place was a farce. Didn't the tar between the cobbles have to be replaced as pedestrians were sticking to them during the summer months? A bit like the half finished job on the Doplhin Centre!

Anonymous said...

Please give us a Labour Councillor for North Road. We have had Lib Dems talking the area down after they have had chance to sort the area out for years.

A guy who cannot even spell Rice Carr and helps out the BNP. And now says that there is not a problem with Thompson st West in the paper after a parent makes a very valid point about his children getting covered in dog dirt and other nasties.

A mystery poster on the northern echo website who claims to live in Thompson St West for 18 years (who I suspect might be Jones) then goes on the offensive saying.... "As a resident of Thompson St West for the last 18yrs, i find Mr Deans comments disgusting , , why then can he not take a alternate route, ie up north road to Lawson Street then to Crosby Street and then a short distance along Longfield Road to the school, im sure if i had such a complaint about a extreemly dirty street as he is suggesting ,i would not walk it at all, Mr Dean i await your apology for the residents of Thompson Street West."

The whole area is on the slide including Thompson St West.
I agree with the man in the Northern Echo. And why should a concerned parent have to apologise.and what for? and why should he and his children inconvenience themselves and walk the long way round? just because a street in which a councillor lives cannot be kept up to standard and is a disgrace.
What is disgusting about what this man has to say?

Any decent councillor would take these concerns seriously and offer to do something about the problem.
Jones must just feel stung because its his street in the firing line.

Whether that street is acceptable or not might depend on what a persons personal standards are. If your garden is covered in dog filth and the christmas decorations are left up all year round then TSW might not seem so bad at all.

This guy lives in Kingsway, That is your ward. Can you do anything to help him?

Mike Barker said...

I too was surprised (or perhaps not!) to see the dismissive comments made by Cllr Jones in the Echo towards Mr Dean's complaint. The subsequent "reader comment" from "Truthseeker" (someone who posts on a variety of websites and blogs in support of Cllr Jones)was in the same vein.
Last Thursday, Mr Dean telephoned me at work to complain about the state of Thompson St West. He said he had had no joy in contacting Cllr Jones (whether this meant he hadn't been able to speak to him, or whether it meant he had spoken to him and not received an acceptable response, I don't know). I walked home, hopped on my bike and rode up there to take a look. There was a certain amount of litter and dog muck in evidence, so when I returned to work I immediately phoned Streetscene and asked them to take a look at the road as a priority and get it cleaned up.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, on opening the Echo the next day, to see a photo of Cllr Jones and the Tory Councillor Gill Cartwright, whose Harrowgate Hill ward takes in a small part of Thompson St West, apparently taking action about this problem.
I assume the reporter wanted a couple of councillors in his photo and phoned these two up instead of me, despite my obvious photogenic qualities.
Let me make it clear: the Lib Dem councillors in North Road ward have worked very hard for many years, and continue to work very hard, to make North Road ward a pleasant place to live. The fact - and it is a fact - that certain areas of the ward are a bit run down and unkempt is due in large part to the new Street Scene set-up where wards at the north end of town are lumped in with the town centre, and consequently get less attention than they deserve. Furthermore, the budget cutting exercise that was the basis for Street Scene has produced a service that does not work effectively. Street Scene is pretty good at responding to problems, it is not very good at the regular work which is required to stop these problems arising in the first place. The failings of Street Scene are down to the Labour Council, not the hard working Lib Dem councillors for North Road ward.
Mike Barker
Councillor for North Road ward

the truth is out there said...

Note to "anonymous" who complains about Steve Jones and his inability to spell Rise Carr (or anything else for that matter): Cllr Jones is an independent councillor. He is not a Liberal Democrat.

Anonymous said...

The story goes like this -
I received a call from the Echo about the Thompson Street West issue. I explained that this part of the ward was mostly in North Road ward and suggested contacting yourself, Steve and Fred. I was then told that the problem extended into Thompson Street East which is in our ward. So i agreed to do the photo as long as yourself and the others had been contacted as it is an issue which was affecting both wards.