Sunday, February 26, 2012
What's On Your Mind?
Sunday morning at church usually brings at least one comment or question on council matters as most people know I’m a councillor, though not for the ward in which I go to church. This morning brought a bumper crop and served as a reminder of what ordinary people are thinking about.
First up was a question on a planning application – not one in Eaglescliffe ward, but in a neighbouring patch. While not against new housing the resident was very concerned about the lack of infrastructure planning associated with the application. Not being familiar with the detail of the application I couldn’t answer specific questions but did point him in the direction of Planning Aid and will send him links to
’s planning policies. Stockton
Next was a very interesting conversation with a young person, perhaps still at primary school, who wanted to know why the Fairtrade stall had so much Traidcraft stuff on it. I was able to explain that Traidcraft is a company which works with producers to get them ready to trade as Fairtrade producers and then supports them to grow and diversify when they’re ready. As a result their produce is sometimes a bit more expensive than supermarket own brand Fairtrade goods but it’s for a very good reason and worth supporting.
Follow that by questions about where Stockton Council is with regard to Yarm Parking, to which I could only reply that the Labour/IBIS cabinet take the political decisions and council officers are instructed to carry them out. They don’t consult me nor tell me every step they’re taking, so I know no more than the Town Council does about what’s happening at Stockton Council and no more than I read in the papers about what’s happening at Yarm Town Council. I assume that Stockton Council is preparing the consultation with residents of the
High St over how best to accommodate their vehicles but I don’t know.
Finally, a discussion with an employee of Cleveland Police about the forthcoming elections of Police Commissioners. It seems that many rank and file officers think as the Lib Dems do – electing a Police Commissioner will do nothing to improve the force and might make matters worse but electing a Police Authority/Panel/Watch committee (call it what you will) to challenge the Police and ensure that resources are properly used would be a good move. Meanwhile, accepting that elected commissioners are going to be a reality in November he felt that politicians should not be standing. It’s surprising how many ordinary people I meet think that this system is going to be a mistake.