Monday, January 14, 2008

All Change

After several years plying our trade at ASDA's store in Whinbush Way, Haughton's 7 Labour ward councillors have moved our Surgery to the mobile library in the supermarket car park.

We were amongst the first councillors in the country to strike up an arrangement with a supermarket in this way, and the relationship has proved very successful for both sides. I'd like to publicly thank ASDA for hosting us so kindly over the years.

Unfortunately, owing to a change in layout at the front of the store, there's no longer any room for ourselves and the Police to sit and meet residents on a monthly basis. In a stroke of inspiration, Cllr. Chris McEwan suggested that we use the mobile library as a venue close by, and so we held our first surgery there on Saturday.

A lot of people seem to have got the message that we've moved, and David, Andy and myself were given several issues to follow up. Our next surgery is on Wednesday 2nd February between 10am and 11.30am, but there's no need to wait til then - simply email one of us (I'm on or ring me on 07960 247554. Andy and David's details can be found here.


ian holme said...

Hi Nick,
Find it a little odd that you have not used your blog to promote discussion on the Draft DBC Budgey, currently out for supposed Consultation.
Now I wonder why that may be?

Do you support withdrawal of subsidy for rural transport to Sadberge?, removal of Grant to the Parish Councils? The fact that other than the above no reference is made of the rural communities at all?

We heard much of the new "listening" DBC. Yet at the very first opportunity to illustrate a change, exactly the opposite is done.
Continued financial/admin support for the comm. p/ships, a nice new community centre for Skerne park, all very well and good.

But no support whatsoever for communities outside of Darlingtons urban area.
No change there then!

ian holme said...

and yes, before anyone takes great delight in spelling it out, just noticed my ref to the "budgey" should have been "budget".....oh well, a draft DBC budgie would certainly have been worthy of debate!

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

Ian please see Mike Barker's blog and the Echo this morning about the report to the Council's Cabinet cutting concessionary bus fares to Darlington Memorial Hospital before 9.30 a.m. which will directly affect the elderly and other vulnerable groups especially.

There is no joined up thinking with the transport issues. On the one hand the Council want people to use public transport as an alternative to using cars and on the other hand they cut the incetive to do so. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Don't get me going on the diffrences in funding for different areas on Darlington Borough. That reallty does make my blood boil.

ian holme said...

Hi Alan,
Seen the articles to which you refer and agree DBC proposed bugdet cuts to transport are deplorable.

Some months ago a Cabinet member assured me that the "new" DBC would be taking account of the needs of the whole Borough and not just the labour heartlands.
Well the proof of the pudding...

I have made similar comments to Nick on Friday via his email (as suggested on this thread timed sunday am)I await his response with interest...

Anonymous said...

As usual DBC is pusuing its own agenda.

The Budget is supposedly "out for consultation" with more pointless so called Talking Together events. Before cutting the elderly's entitlement to free bus fares before 9.30 am why not abolish Councillor's allowances and save nigh on a million quid.

You may have overspent on the Pedestran Heart and other things but why do the elderly have to be deprived of free transport ?

It's about time we had these questions answered by Councillors who simply hide when real questions about the most disadvantaged in our town are the first to suffer when costs need to be cut.

Come on Councillor Wallis provide a good reason why the Labour group are seeking to cut out early transport for the elderly.

As usual there will be no answer from our council who are more interested in trivial issues like sitting in the mobile library rather than in Asda.

ian Holme said...

in the imortal lines of footie fans everywhere.....Its all gone quiet over there...!!!!

Darlington Councillor said...

I'll be blogging (at length!) on the budget shortly.....

Anonymous said...

You can blog as much as you like about the budget but like a true politician you never answer questions but tell us what you want.

Consultation means listening to peoplebut if proposals are put forward before the listening events then it is clear where they are coming from.

I repeat why are the elderly being prevented from travelling before 9.30 am, why are rural communities having money taken from them ? When answers to these type of questions are forthcoming then I'll think that the Council is not only listening but even talking and responding to the people.

Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose (for those that don't speak French it means "somethings nver change" eg Councillor Willis and his budget blog that never responds to questions asked of him.

Bill Browning

Darlington Councillor said...


Thanks for your comment - I had hoped it would be clear that I'll be blogging on various aspects of the budget over the next day or so, including concessionary transport and the parish grant. I wanted to set the scene first, and nail the fib about PH spend before doing so.

There should be something up over the next 24 hours (these things don't write themselves, you know!)