Friday, April 16, 2010

Are the St Neots Conservatives worthy?

I have to ask: "Are the Conservatives worthy of our vote?" I have to ask this because minutes have now been produced for the meeting on 17th February 2010 (nearly 2 months ago) of the Huntingdonshire District Council.

What was missing from this Council meeting was anything from the St Neots Conservative Councillors Group (SNCCG) about the car park and public conveniences they have whinged on so much in the papers both before and after. Yet at this council they were silent and the proposals were voted through. In fact it was Cllr Thorpe who raised the issue of car parking charges and public conveniences as uses for the 60 pence a year extra the Liberal Democrats wanted on the Council Tax bill.

According to the minutes the Conservatives stayed silent on these issues. Which of the St Neots Conservative Councillors Group were at this Council meeting? All those on the District Council did. These were:

Ken Churchill
Robert Farrer
Andrew Gilbert
Andrew Hansard
David Harty
Mandy Thomas
Paul Ursell

In the Council minutes, a frustrated Cllr Ablewhite admonished the Liberal Democrats for bringing forward amendments to the budget at this late stage. He referred to the budget procedure saying these amendments could have been brought up at Overview and Scrutiny (Economic Well-being).

With what is good for the Liberal Democrats is good for the SNCCG. I therefore found the minutes for this meeting. I looked to find who from the SNCCG was at this meeting. Cllr Thomas was. Cllr Gilbert gave his apologies. No other SNCCG members were at this meeting. The only talk was the sale of The South Street toilets. That is all.

The whole Conservative Car parking campaign has been a PANTOMIME. When the SNCCG had an opportunity to try to change the budget, THEY DIDN'T. When it came to the crunch, all they did was vote along with their fellow Conservative Councillors for the closure of the loos and the car parking charges.
For the last few months St Neots residents have been treated to a Conservative PANTOMIME over these issues. A PANTOMIME which was there to divert the attention from the Conservative decisions over closures/car parks and try to blame the Liberal Democrats.

The more this goes on, the more comes out about this and other issues:
  • Cllr Farrer going off on one by claiming he and Cllr Harty weren't consulted on the car park charges. Minutes show both knew of these charges and made their views known but were ignored.
  • Closure of the Public Conveniences by Conservative run HDC meant the SNCCG had no influence over this decision. It was easier to blame the Liberal Democrats than to stand up to a decision taken by their Conservative party colleagues.
  • Lest we forget. Cllr Hansard and Cllr Churchill are Cabinet members. Obviously the car park charging wasn't a resigning issue as they are still in the Cabinet!
  • The annexation of Eynesbury Hardwicke Town Ward and Love's Farm + the area to the west of the A428 was decided by the Conservative run HDC. Cllr Harty and Cllr Gilbert were Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Election Panel reviewing these boundaries. Having decided to annex to SNTC these areas when the Council tax bills come through this is now apparently the Liberal Democrats fault!
  • Cllr Farrer saying if the Riverside Car Park wasn't free for 3 hours he would consider going Independent. The Council didn't and, so far, Cllr Farrer hasn't gone Independent. I wonder why?

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