Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One year on - and what has changed?

One year ago today I started this blog after seeing a piece on Newsnight about Somerton, Somerset and the way a blog changed the Somerton Town Council. With my first post I wasn't out to emulate the Muck and Brass Blog. I was out there to shine a bit of light into what was going on in the politics of St Neots.

In many ways politics hasn't changed. The electors are still at the bottom of the pile whilst those who are elected treat many residents with contempt.

In the last year Djanogly got himself re-elected with a slightly reduced majority. The Liberal Democrats didn't put up much of a fight. The Labour Party went from bad to worse.
There was the political pantomime over the Car Park charges.
The St Neots Conservatives wanted the taxpayer cough up for the Church Car Park.
SNTC spent a few thousand on getting legal advice over Freedom of Information.
Found out that most HDC deliberations take place in secret working groups.
Martin Land called the Conservatives closet homophobes and racists.
SNTC loses its Quality Town Status and is no longer a member of CPALC or NALC.
The uselessness of the SNTC Planning Committee.
The cinema campaign for a cinema in the wrong place.
The farce of Annual Town Meetings doubled up with the Annual Council Meeting.
The Outdoor Swimming Pool farce.
The under resourcing of the Town Council.
The overly large Eatons Community Centre.
The hype over the Neighbourhood Forums where the political class vastly outnumbered the public.
The embarrassing way the political parties don't converse with the electors.
Unveiled the Conservative decisions to annex areas of Eynesbury Hardwicke Parish and St Neots Rural Parish to St Neots Town. The Conservatives falsely blamed the Liberal Democrats.
And many more titbits which makes politics in St Neots so dull.

In the end this is the political scene residents deserve. Instead of going to the Annual Town Meeting and to the Neighbourhood Forums St Neots residents seem content to sit and moan.

I look at this differently. Residents can make a difference. Local politicians get away with lots because local government is overly complicated and overly secret. Changes to St Neots will take time.

One year on and this blog will continue. Maybe I can get it to its second birthday.

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