Tory Police cuts and Lib Dems freeze PCSOs

11 04 2011

At the moment I’m dealing with a lot of people raising fears over crime and anti social behaviour on and around Highridge Common.

I’m currently compiling responses with a view to arguing for more PCSO coverage in Bishopsworth, Highridge and Withywood and will blog on this more soon

In Bristol the Lib Dems have frozen funding for PCSOs so we only half about 1/2 off our full compliment. Members of the local Lib Dem cabinet like Cllr Jon Rogers complain about anti social behaviour but won’t fund measures to combat it.

Perhaps most shocking is this online map launched today by the Labour Party to detail front line Police cuts caused by this Tory Government. In a time of rising unemployment and economic depression we need to rely more not less on good effective community centred policing. This is a Labour issue. It’s the people on our estates and our communities who will suffer the most

<a href=”http://www.campaignengineroom.org.uk/police-map&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.labour.org.uk/images/policemap/policemap-sml.gif&#8221; alt=”See how damaging the police cuts are” border=”0″></a>

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“Save our Parks” petition- please act now

28 02 2011

Withywood Park

Many readers will already be aware of the Bristol Lib Dems’ mismanagement of the green spaces consultation.

Many of you will also be aware that when it came to debating this in the Council House the Lib Dems used their majority to steam roller opposition.

If we can collect 3,500 signatures we can force the Lib Dem cabinet into having a real debate. They can ignore the opposition parties but they can’t ignore the Bristol public.

Please take 30 seconds to sign here and verify the signature by clicking the email link sent to you.

Thanks





Lib Dems steamroller crushes Labour Bristol Budget amendments

23 02 2011

Last night was the Bristol Budget meeting. Bristol Labour put together a package to alleviate the worst affects from the most vulnerable in our city.

I’m not going to talk about the substance of our amendments because that has been spelled out in other posts. I’d like to talk briefly about the atmosphere.

The Lib Dems never broke rank on a single vote. Anyone who was present will describe how Lib Dems sat there barely listening to their opponents. Jeering down speakers, like clockwork, at the end of speeches they barely listened to.

Lib Dems and Tories screamed down members of the public when they expressed their upset and fears. They cheered as citizens were dragged from their seats and ejected. In one particularly unpleasant moment a protestor appeared (though I can’t be certain) to have hit his head hard in being removed. (there was an almighty smack as he hit the ground) Lib Dem Cllr Steve Comer said “Where’s your revolution now.” One member of the public said all you are doing is pointing fingers at each other Tory Cllr Morris declared words to the effect of “but we enjoy doing that, get out.”

When the public were cleared from the gallery Labour members walked out in protest until the public were readmitted. Which thankfully they were.

Lib Dems regularly behaved in a high handed way.

  • Cllr Rogers  (Ashley) described an amendment reversing his own meals on wheels charges hike as “a petty absence of vision”
  • On the same meals on wheels amendment Cllr. Kiely (Easton) stated in his experience Labour were always “liking to waste people’s money”
  • Cllr Janke (Clifton) described plans for a scholarship for the poorest and brightest kids in Bristol to go to Uni as “tokenism”

There was more of the same and cheers from Lib Dems as they voted down each life line for the poorest.

Perhaps the most telling moment was when Lib Dems and Tories stood shoulder to shoulder to trash Labour scholarship scheme. A last ditch attempt to avoid the very worst of Lib Dem betrayal on tuition fees increases. They sneered. They rubbished it and they moved on.

Don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the BCC webcast of the event.





Bishopsworth Tories mourn local services cuts but its their Government causing it

4 02 2011

My Conservative opponent Cllr Richard Eddy is content to mourn reduction in local services but is unwilling to face the ugly truth. It is his party in Government that is delivering these harmful cuts to Bishopsworth’s residents.

Richard Eddy complains that police stations are going to be unmanned for longer. He can’t ignore the fact that this is due to the Conservative Party having cut police funding by 20%.

He can’t ignore the fact that his government have cut funding to the four Greater Bristol Councils by 28% over the next four years. This has led to the Bristol Lib Dem Council cutting the number of Police and Community Support Officers.

He can’t ignore the fact that the Ministry of Justice is facing a reduction of 11,000 front line staff, which will impact on Courts’ abilities to deal with offenders quickly.

I have family members and friends who serve as Police Officers or PCSOs in Avon and Somerset, South Wales Police, Hampshire Constabulary and the Met. They are hardworking people who try to do their best in difficult circumstances. Richard Eddy’s Party has made their job a lot harder.

Last May I and the Labour Party warned that the Conservatives plan to cut so quickly and so deeply would harm our communities. If Richard Eddy wants to raise law and order as a means to get re-elected I am more than happy. His party’s reckless cuts show that they are not the law and order party but Labour is.





Bishopsworth Grit – useful info

25 11 2010

Unfortuantely despite previous requests that Bristol City Council grit some pavements areas where elderly and vulnerable residents live, they refuse to do so.

A map of the city shows that little of Bishopsworth will be gritted.

In the event of snow the obligation will exclusively fall on residents or their families to try to make pavements safe. Please do what you can to help neighbours.

If you want to know where your or your families nearest grit bin is please type your postcode in here.





A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

1 11 2010

It’s an interesting sign of how advanced the green agenda is, that we can barely imagine a modern mainstream British Political Party Leader uttering the sentence above. It’s attributed to Maggie some 30 years ago.

A couple of confessions:

a. I’m beyond the age of 26.

b. I find myself on a bus almost every week day

c. I don’t consider myself a failure.

Like a large minority of people in Bristol I try to make do without a car. For a lot of people the hassle, fuss and cost of finding somewhere to park in the centre of town where I go to work puts me off getting one. I’ve made an informed choice and I live in an area well served by public transport with both the Severn beach line and a bus route within 2 minutes walk and my place of work in about 30 minutes walk away.

We as a city should be doing all we can to help citizens make informed choices about transport, all with a view to encouraging them to use public transport where its appropriate. Unfortunately First Buses Website plainly fails to do this.

My partner Kat and I are hoping to buy a house together next year and having found a couple of areas that were affordable and pleasant I took a look at the First Buses website to see how easy it would be to get to work.

When you arrive on the website you notice a handy search function. Try it. Unless the street you type in is specifically mentioned in the timetable you get no results.

If you click on the section marked Timetables “Plan your Journey with ease” You find that you need a detailed knowledge of what service number you actually need to use before using this section. So it’s not easy at all.

When you click on “View our map network” and then on Bristol and South Gloucestershire you finally feel like you are getting somewhere.

A colour coded map of all Bristol shows service numbers which all flows into the city centre.

Finally you think you will get to see where you get on and off. So you navigate to the city centre map and you get this.

I can’t work this out easily. Can you?

This website is abysmal and whoever designed it should be exiled to Steepholm.

Compare this to the Transport for London website. In a City with a fantastically complicated public transport system it seems that local government provide a clever joined up website where you can even search for your post code or a vague street name and find a bus, underground, overground or even a wombling free walking route!

Does it matter? Is this just a grumpy Monday morning rant. Yes. On both counts (I haven’t had my coffee yet).

If we actually want people to get out of their cars we need to make public transport cheaper, more regular but first and foremost we need to let people know that they can use it to get to where they want to go! At the moment we have a system which is as far from user friendly as we can get.

If you agree with me, why not use the clunky First Buses feed back system and let me know by commenting on this blog if you get a response.

But more importantly Gary Hopkins is the person responsible for our Public Transport System in Bristol. Why not email him about how poor our information system is and demand that he actually does something about it. You can email him on gary.hopkins@bristol.gov.uk

Good morning and have a good week.





Park Life

13 09 2010

Me next to the Malago

There is a lot of concern with the Lib Dem Council’s sell off of various green spaces. Bishopsworth has a number of great green spaces my personal favourite is the walk along the Malago.

In Bishopsworth a lot of people have raised concerns with proposal BSA 3018 at page 302 – the sell off of about 0.4 hectares of land in the pleasant Kings Head Lane Park. The intention is to build about 21 dwellings on the site leading to more congestion on busy roads and slicing up valued green space.

To me, the exercise the Lib Dem Cabinet are embarking on in Bishopsworth tears up any green credentials they pretended to have.

You can read my written submission to full council here and see my speech here at 1 hr and 2 minutes at the 7th September 2010 Council Meeting.

I’m also concerned about the proposal’s in relation to BSA 1310 page 306 in relation to Withywood Park and would be interested in speaking to locals about likely impact and concerns

Unfortunately bumbling, dithering and costly Cllr. Gary Hopkins is in charge of the process for these parks so we can only hope that he will be moved by public representations. There was little evidence of this at the Council meeting. He seemed to bury his head in his papers and ignored people’s representations. This was a little depressing given the high public turn out.