Saturday, September 13, 2008

Conference time again

I took advantage of our direct train link with London yesterday en route to Bournemouth to our Party conference. Absolutely superb service and I thoroughly recommend it. It seems rare to be able to say this about trains in the UK but everything ran to time and I had a seat on every train including the Underground.
There was time for a pleasant walk in the twilight along the sea front and some photos before a meal and sleep in preparation for the morning's session.
This morning I went to a consultation session on our policy for the natural environment - lively debate including on just what we mean by natural in this context and I look forward to the results coming to next Autumn's conference as a policy paper.
This afternoon we passed a super policy on involving citizens in democracy - Giving Citizens a Voice in Parliament. The slightly dubious idea of a citizen's veto on legislation was defeated but the rest of the policy is superb. Lots of very good ideas about how to get people involved and make Parliament more responsive.
Meanwhile of course the ward continues to throw up issues and so I've spent time replying to e-mails from constituents on a number of things. Planning applications don't stop arriving just because some of us go away! We're now being asked to consider whether a Tanning salon is the right use for the old "Yarm Auto Parts" building near the Cleveland Bay. Some might think any use is better than it standing empty but of course there are parking issues as well as the ongoing problem of enforcing the appeal decision that it should be returned to its former appearance. Watch this space is an ongoing maxim for Eaglescliffe.

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