Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2 years on....

.... and what has changed?

Djanogly was re-elected. Despite living in London and prominent in the MP's expenses scandal, the voters of the Huntingdon constituency re-elected Djanogly therefore forgiving him for his part in this scandal. Djanogly went onto become an Under secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice. This is a third rung on the Ministerial ladder with Minister of State above him and Secretary of State at the top. Djanogly became a bit of a lightning rod scandal. There was his spying on local Conservative members and his relationship with his brother-in-law. The spying was internal. The brother-in-law was really a non-story.

Useless Town Council Planning Committee. This has carried on being useless and a sheer waste of money. The new Conservative administration on the Town Council has carried with this sheer waste of money. The only real reason for this is the Town Councillors want to pontificate on the merits of planning applications without any real training or idea of what they are doing.

Cllr Ablewhite is new District Council Leader. Despite being party to costing the District Council £5,000 over a planning decision in St Ives, the District Council Conservatives deemed Cllr Ablewhite worthy of their leadership. Cllr Ian Bates stood down at from the leadership after the abortive merger talks with East Cambridgeshire and Fenland District Councils fell down.

Cinema progresses. The idea to squeeze the cinema into a totally inappropriate site continues. Turnstone Estates were given preferred status and went ahead and ripped the Development Brief to shreds. As the land owners HDC and SNTC must have been privy to these changes yet didn't say a thing. So much for transparency.

Rough waters for the Outdoor Swimming Pool. Having done a deal with McCarthy and Stone, rumour has it the SNTC/SNSPT has reneged on this deal. Whilst selling the land and using the proceeds to build a new swimming pool on other land made sense, unless SNTC/SNSPT have found a source of money it will make no sense to rebuild the swimming pool on the old site.

HCCA. The slow downfall of this once proud Conservative Association continues with HCCA running out of money.

Council Tax. HDC has, for many years, used reserves to keep Council Tax down. Combined with the previous Labour Government who used the threat of capping to keep the District Council tax rises down. Capping is due to end with a new referendum rules to ensure any excessive Council Tax rises are voted on by the electorate beforehand.

New Homes Bonus nicked. This becomes a large amount of money for HDC. According to the Coalition Government this money is for the communities which are accepting new housing developments. HDC is supposed to consult the locals over the use of this money. Think about £8000 a property and 5000 properties. £40 million would make a difference to St Neots.

Riverside Car Park. This was a joint approach that ended up as a pantomime. As the basic decision was correct as either the user pays or the Council Tax payer (and I prefer the user pays) this now looks to be revisited. The Liberal Democrats made hay over this. The St Neots Conservatives are against but voted for the budget. This issue went back and forth until it was decided by Cabinet and then Council make this a pay car park.

Councillors. Over the two years I've looked at Councillor attendances. Some are good. Some were bad. On Town Councillor did good by resigning. Mandy Thomas just didn't turn up or only to one minor meeting in 6 months. The dearth of candidates to be Councillors was also highlighted before the last elections. On one good note, Carl Jones stood as an Independent and won the Town Council East seat.

CPALC. It looks as though CPALC gave the Town Council Quality Status to SNTC with too much trouble. Though how they passed many of the tests didn't stand up to scrutiny. Anyway SNTC paid their sub and CPALC seems happy the Quality Town Status means absolutely nothing.

The Liberal Democrats. These have been a big disappointment. With Martin Land as both Agent and Parliamentary Candidate this was going to go wrong. The Conservatives are "closet racists and homophobes" quote did damage. Also if that is how Martin thinks the Liberal Democrats are destined to lose and lose again.

Gordon Thorpe. It is a pity that Gordon has gone. Although he called me the "Most Hated Man in St Neots" I hold no grudges against him. I did warn him at the time that Harrsion and Jennings were fighting hard for Eaton Socon and Gordon needed to get out and campaign. Gordon didn't take my advice and, I was informed, turned up about a week before the campaign finished to campaign. Miles too late.

Have I given up on the blog? Well no. But there will be fewer blog entries as time goes on. Of course if SNTC decides to alter the Priory Centre.......

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