Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Councillor West and chairmanship of the Environment Scrutiny Panel

Councillor Roger West is attempting to present the vote of confidence in him as an issue of bullying, attempting to stop his commenting on the state of Southbourne beach.

It isn't anything of the sort.

The deputy chairman of the panel, Cllr Mark Anderson has issued this statement.  I think it explains clearly and concisely the concerns the panel have:

My main concerns and after talking to the rest of the Conservative councillors on the Scrutiny Panel, theirs as well, is that Cllr West is using the Panel for his own political agenda and this became very obvious during the meeting.

He is not pursuing the agreed agenda of the panel and you must realise that most of the members are new Cllr’s and were relying on Cllr West as the chairman, amongst others to guide them. I am concerned that Cllr West has been using the chairmanship of this panel to add legitimacy to his own agenda.

Typically the report on Urban flooding, this is very important to all of the people of Bournemouth particularly in the light of the recent summer floods and we need to be discussing whether the towns drains can cope with the strain that development is putting on them and what we as a council should be doing. What we shouldn't be doing is concentrating on specific issues in Cllr West’s own ward!

This and his decision to ride roughshod over me and the rest of the panel when he decided to question the wrong Cabinet member, despite being told, on the Coastal defence work was the final straw.

To continue on with the coastal defence work, Cllr West was absolutely insistent that his question be answered by the wrong cabinet member, Quite why he tried to do this I’m not sure, he knows as well as I do and as I tried to point out before he overrode my objections, this was Coastal defence not beach replenishment, beach replenishment was merely a beneficially side effect, and as such it is in the remit of environment not Leisure and Tourism and certainly not Resources and I don’t understand how he could expect to get a suitable answer. I can only assume it was because it fitted his own personal agenda, not even a Liberal agenda as they were the administration that actually did the work!

Additionally the story he gave to both the Echo and Meridian bares no resemblance to the discussion and questioning that took place in the panel’s meeting.

I have always felt that it was useful for the people of the town to have an opposition Cllr chairing the scrutiny panel and in fact I was the person who approached Cllr West and actually asked him to chair the scrutiny panel, I was also the person who proposed him as chairman.

The Conservative groups number one policy is improving our Environment and ALL the other Cllr’s on the panel are committed to doing the best for Bournemouth and its environment, I’m not Sure that Cllr West is! I for example have been involved in environmental issues since the late 1980’s.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Land adjacent AFC Bournemouth and 51 Thistlebarrow Road Planning Appeal

A short note to thank everyone who has responded with letters opposing the planning appeal made by the developers wanting to demolish 51 Thistlebarrow Road to gain access to build housing on the land adjacent to AFC Bournemouth.

We copied and sent off over 80 letters this afternoon and I know many more have been sent directly.

It's unlikely that we will hear a result this side of Christmas, but we will of course keep you up to date with any news.