Friday, September 17, 2010

SNTC 2011 Elections - Are the Conservatives worthy?

As the only opposition group on the Town Council.and, therefore, the only real alternative to the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives need a good examination of their actions in opposition.

The Conservatives group members are the following:

Jennifer Bird - Town Council Group Leader
David Harty - Town Councillor, District Councillor and County Councillor. Also a member of the County Cabinet.
Keith Ursell - Town Councillor and District Councillor
Barry Chapman - Town Councillor and District Councillor
Brenda Arnold - Town Councillor

3 out of 5 Conservatives have other responsibilities other than Town Council. There is a capacity issue with the amount of time the Conservative Core can put into the Town Council if they formed the majority in May 2011.

The Shambles
The Conservative response to this was also a "shambles". I can't remember any narrative on what was actually wrong behind these damning reports. There was nothing about the history or what the Conservatives would do to get this Town Council out of the mess it was in.
There was an opportunity to publicly hold this Town Council to account. The Conservatives failed.

Church Car Park - The Conservatives stood up for the church users rather than the residents. Church users were on the internet complaining about the closure of the Church Car Park. The Conservatives were looking at throwing Council Tax payers money for what is essentially a private car park for the church. A good use of public money?

The Budget - The opposition to the budget was a shambles. Only two Conservatives Councillors stayed to vote against the budget. More on the Conservative response here.

Planning - Jenny Bird is in charge of this committee and there have been a few howlers. The Darzi health surgery in the Town Centre was opposed for many reasons. None planning reasons. Even the new estate behind Tesco was opposed by both SNTC and HDC. The problem was they opposed the estate for different reasons.

Eynesbury Hardwicke - This was a bit of an own goal by the Conservatives raising this issue. They thought they could blame the Liberal Democrats for this piece of Conservative HDC handy work. It didn't work because they lost Eynesbury at the local elections.

The Toilets - A Conservative HDC decision. Instead of agreeing with the decision of their colleagues, St Neots had to go through the political pantomime.

The Car Parks - Another Conservative HDC decision which they agreed to at District but when it came to St Neots they opposed. The problem with these District/Town Councillors is they never really explained any alternative!

Where would the Conservatives take the Town Council? This is the question the Conservatives need to answer. It is no use talking about doing things better. Specifics are needed.

Are the Conservatives worthy? On this evidence I feel NOT. With 5 members the Conservatives should be fighting and making their voices heard with alternatives. There are few. As ever the St Neots Conservatives are very quite. With lots to say about the Liberal Democrats running of HDC there Conservative a quite silent. Why are they being so quiet?

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