Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Hiatus

Time moves on and this blog has to take a hiatus for the summer. Many things to do and many places to go and see. With the Conservatives settling into St Neots Town Council and not much on the horizon with HDC until the Autumn.

In the mean time I can look up more information on the New Homes Bonus, CIL, The Town Council and the District Council. The hiatus doesn't mean I'm stopping for good. Looking at last summer many items dominated but these aren't going to be repeated this year.

So rather than sit here boring the pants off everyone with bits and pieces about nothing, I've decided to stop the blog, for the moment, and see what happens after the summer. (1st September 2011) Happy holidays!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Conservatives win Eynesbury

At the delayed Town Council elections for the Eynesbury Ward held yesterday on 9th June 2011, the Conservatives won.

Edward Bruning, (Liberal Democrat), 326 
Diana Collins, (Liberal Democrat), 385 
James Corley, (Liberal Democrat), 320 
Andrew Hansard, (Conservative), 560 - elected 
Catherine Hutton, (Conservative), 546 - elected 
Robert Moores, (Liberal Democrat), 328 
Emlyn Rees, (Labour), 204 
Leslie Roberts, (Liberal Democrat), 327 
Andrea Ruck, (Conservative), 532 - elected 
David Ruck, (Conservative), 512 - elected 
Douglas Terry, (Liberal Democrat), 317 
Paul Ursell, (Conservative), 584 - elected 
Adrian Usher, (Conservative), 551- elected 
Steve Van De Kerkhove, (Liberal Democrat), 406 
Karl Wainwright, (Conservative), 511- elected 

Turnout was 15.09 per cent.

This makes Conservative control of the Town Council near total. The only opposition member is Carl Jones who stood as an Independent. The Conservatives went at this with a full on campaign which did them well.

Now the Conservatives have the problems. Their is no one else they can blame if things go wrong. Cllr Farrer tries to blame "THEY" which seems to be a code word for Conservatives.

This has been a good set of elections for the Conservatives. But when you get to the top of the mountain the only way is DOWN.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So who are THEY?

In an article in this weeks Hunts Post, Cllr Bob Farrer (County Councillor, District Councillor and Town Councillor) said the following about reduced hours at the library service in St Neots.
The Library should be the hub for the Town. I hope Cllr Farrer follows through by getting the Town Council to deposit the documents it produces there.

Cllr Farrer also goes onto say: "Last year THEY refurbished it". So who is THEY?. Well Cllr Farrer is a County Councillor and it is the County Council, of which he is a Councillor, who are THEY who refurbished St Neots Library. Cllr Farrer goes on: "Why should THEY want to spend that money and start shutting it? If County Councillor Bob Farrer can't answer why the County Council  is doing this then maybe he could turn to his fellow District Councillor, who is also a Town Councillor and the County Councillor in charge of libraries - Cllr David Harty.

This is just a blame game by Cllr Farrer who can't blame himself so goes off blaming "THEY". And "THEY"are his Conservative colleagues.

Just on last point. Cllr Farrer says: "I would much prefer the Town Council put a bit of money in it."

So the rot starts. A little bit here and a little bit there and boom here comes the rise in Council Tax. Between Mad Baz and Spendmore Bob the Town Council will go to ruin. And it is the residents that will have to stump up the extra Council Tax.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Djanogly continues not to be good for the Conservatives

The Huntingdon Conservative Association continues on the slow slide towards oblivion. According to the 2010 accounts, Membership of HCA has fallen slightly from 686 to 663. A drop of 23.
With an increase of 1 on Full membership the fall has been the Out of Constituency membership, down 22, and the final 2 Club members going.

The deficit increased this year from £8086 to £11801. The Association is eating into capital to keep going. 2010 was General Election year and this should have been a fundraising opportunity for HCA. In 2005 the Fighting Fund brought in £13955. In 2010 there is no figure but this was probably about £4200. With £3000 from Lola Cars this is really a paltry amount. Comparing 2005 with 2010 there is a large difference in Income generated from fundraising.
The Huntingdon Industrial Advisory Council has a dropped from £4000 to nothing. The Premier Club has stopped being a major contributor to the Associations funds. Various other events have been dropped. This leaves HCA in the predicament it currently finds itself in.

So why blame Djanogly? Well this is his power base. Djanogly needs a well funded Association to carry on the political campaigning and as all political wonks know this needs money. The fighting fund for Djanogly simply failed. The HIAC, which is Djanogly's baby, also failed. The Premier Club also failed.

Djanogly hasn't been good for Huntingdon Conservative Association. He isn't bringing in the money needed to sustain the Conservative Association he represents. What this Conservative Association needs is an injection of cash. It either needs to fundraise more or the MP and Councillors need to start contributing to Association funds.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Conservative leaflet - where are the Liberal Democrats (and Labour)

A new Conservative leaflet came through on Sunday and I've gotten around to posting it here. The Conservatives are going all out to win this election. Since this election started I have received no Liberal Democrat or Labour literature. The Conservatives are out campaigning the other parties and deserve to win on this alone.

When the election is over the Liberal Democrats will be looking for many other factors to blame. The basics are very simple. Get out and campaign if you want to win. Don't campaign and you will lose.

Affording the swimming pool of despair

Cllr Ursell was going on about a the front page of the previous months Lovely Moon. He said:

"Call me cynical. Is it just a coincidance that the "Lovely Moon" publication blaming HDC (which is Conservative controlled) came out just before the election especially as the editor is Ted Bruning who I suspect is the the same Ted Bruning who was standing for town council in Eynesbury Ward as a Liberal Democrat canditate. If it is true then no wonder the article was biased against HDC. Its deplorable that, if true, a Liberal democrat candidate should try and mislead the general public by this sort of election tactic."

In this months Lovely Moon there is an article quoting  Cllr Ursell. Cllr Ursell is standing for Town Coucil elections on 9th June 2011. The article is below:
What Cllr Ursell does say does raise one question. How will a new open air swimming pool actually be self-sufficient? With £1.75 million in the bank their shouldn't be much to worry about. Once all the construction costs have been taken out there won't be much left. According to Cllr Ursell the old Outdoor Swimming Pool lost £30,000 a year. In truth all pools lose money and need public subsidy in one measure or another. People won't pay the actual cost of swimming.

Eversholt which has an open air swimming pool relies on fundraising to keep the pool open. In financial terms there are a few points to consider:

1. Renewal. The pool will need renewing or a major overhaul in roughly 20 years. If it cost say £1 million to construct this would mean a pool would need roughly £2 million in 20 years time, if not more.
So a "financially self-sufficient" pool needs to put £100,000 a year aside for renewal. 

2. £1.75 million seems alot of money. Take a million off for contruction and the trust is left with £750,000. With interest of 5% this would bring in £37,500 a year. Just enough to cover the losses.

3. The old pool was seasonal. Opening up the pool for the whole year brings with it higher staffing costs, management and utilities not to mention higher costs of maintenance. 

4. What else could the Trust do? There is an idea of a wave machine that surfers could use. But how much profit would a machine like this actually bring in? I have no idea. Nor, I suspect, does Cllr Ursell or the Trust. There have been hints of having a gym. But this won't make any money. 

Whatever the outcome any outdoor swimming pool would need public subsidy to make it a going concern. Either subsidise the running costs or put money aside for pool renewal. £1.75 million sounds alot of money but it isn't. To make this pool self sufficient the amount needs to be closer to £5 million rather than £1.75 million. As with the titchy cinema St Neots will end up with a paddling pool.

Monday, June 6, 2011

9th June 2011 - who I'm voting for!

Eynesbury is set to vote on 9th June 2011 for the last seats to be decided in the Town Council elections. With the Conservatives winning back in May this is a different election.  There are now different reasons as to which way I'm voting.

Firstly, I won't vote Labour. Secondly, looking at the new Town Councillors at the Annual Town Meeting they are a bunch of men, with one exception. Therefore I'm voting for the female candidates first.

That is Hutton, Collins and Andrea Ruck.

The next thing is I won't be voting for either of the Conservative District Councillors. HDC is in a financial mess. The HDC Conservatives have taken the New Homes Bonus without a peep from the St Neots District Councillors when formulating the HDC budget.

As for the rest. Seeing the death of a candidate delayed elections I feel I should vote for the younger candidates. Steve van de Kerkhove gets my vote. As does Les Roberts, Rob Moores and David Ruck

Friday, June 3, 2011

Conservative Leaflet for Eynesbury 9th June delayed elections

I've received a leaflet through from the Conservatives regarding the delayed elections in Eynesbury for the Town Council. So what are the Conservatives promising?

In the main text they are promising to:

Work with the County Council to promote Bargroves as a Community facility.
Routing the carnival through Eynesbury.
Supporting local group such as EVA.

What else does the leaflet say?

On the New Homes Bonus it says:
Well the Conservatives already control all 3. The problem with this is whilst the County Council has put the money aside, Conservative controlled HDC has put the money in the budget. With 8 Conservative District Councillors from St Neots out of 41 Conservative District Councillors this is 19.5% of the membership. This is up from 16%. 

 The Conservatives also promise to be more transparent at council meetings. The last sentence says: "What have they not been telling us?". Well now your in-charge the Conservatives can inform us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is Djanogly Dim but Nice?

I have to wonder about Jonathan Djanogly, Under Secretary of State in charge of Legal Aid and our MP to boot. As pointed out by Private Eye he actually turned up at protest about the cuts he is instituting.
So is Djanogly for the cuts or against? Or did he think "Sound Off For Justice" was something different?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

AV - The Huntingdonshire result analysis

The result of the AV referendum for Huntingdonshire is:

Yes: 15,145 
No: 38,725

The vote data for the local elections were:

Conservatives: 22729
Liberal Democrats: 8745
Labour: 5401
UKIP: 3492
Independent: 811

There were a total of 21 wards up for election.

Conservatives: 1082 per ward in 21.
Liberal Democrats: 437 per ward in 20 wards.
Labour: 270 per ward in 20 wards.
UKIP: 317 per ward in 11 wards.
Independent: 811 in 1 ward.

The electorate at those wards voting was: 43.57%

With the non local elections ward voting at the referendum there was little drop between the two sets of results with those not having locals coming out stronger at 46..58% of the referendum vote.

With the vote split at 72% No and 28% Yes then roughly the AV vote in the local elections went NO 29603 and YES 11575. If the YES campaign for AV which included UKIP + Liberal Democrats + some Labour votes are totalled up the YES campaign didn't attract all their voters. There was a percentage of voters in the YES camp parties who voted NO. 

In the end it was the strong NO campaign which brought out the Conservative vote. A tactical mistake by the Liberal Democrats who believed the YES AV campaign would help energise their supporters. In reality it didn't. All it did was energise the Conservatives to get their vote out with the NO to AV campaign and helped them win the local elections.