Friday, February 23, 2007

Motorbikes in King's Park

I've received the following note from the Parks Department about their pursuance of people riding motorbikes in King's Park, which I thought I should pass on to you:

"I am writing in regards to the problem of motorbikes being ridden on Kings Park. Yesterday evening, thanks to a call from a member of the public, a blue mini-moto that was witnessed riding on the cricket ground was seized from its owner by the local Police.

I have also been informed today, that a red scramble bike has been seized from its owner at his address, this second success is down to a good working-relationship with the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team which has increased communications and information sharing between our two organisations. Community Parks and Countryside Officers witnessed the bike being ridden on the park at extreme speeds and acting on information from the public, traced its owner to a local address. Although the Police could not attend at the time, a report was sent and the Police acted swiftly to seize the bike from its owner some days later.

I am hopeful that these two events will act as a deterrent to this problem and motivate people in continuing to inform us of such problems."

It's good to see the Parks Department and the Police beginning to get tough with people riding their bikes in the Park.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Those caring Liberal Democrats......

The latest Liberal Democrat leaflet in Littledown and Iford has this story on its front page:

Apparently my ward colleagues are concerned about my commitment to the ward now that I have been selected to stand for parliament in Mid Dorset and North Poole.

It's nice of them to be concerned that I have three jobs already. Only three? They're missing a couple - Treasurer of the Mayor's Charity Appeal and caring for my elderly parents. Oh, and then there's running Rubyz restaurants as well as our 'town centre night club' (not forgetting trying to keep Dame Kitty's dress allowance under control).

Well, as the person who kindly sent me this article said: "Remember the old adage, 'If you want something done, give it to a busy person'."

I hope I've done a good job for the ward in the eighteen months since I was elected, and I hope that the residents haven't noticed any change in the level of my commitment and service since November 25th, the day I was selected to stand for parliament.

I have certainly done the best I can and I think we've achieved results where I've been asked to help.

Either way, the residents of Littledown and Iford get to decide on May 3rd. We'll see then whether they think I've done a good job or whether they think that having four other roles has impeded the service they recieve from me.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Traffic Regulation Orders – Petersfield Road, Durrington Place and Cheriton Avenue

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch to comment on these amendments. I’ve incorporated your comments in to my response. I understand that my fellow councillors, Adrian Fudge and Fran Ketchley have circulated letters informing people that the outcome may be different to the plans posted and that they want to feed comments back to the Highways Department.

I have made it clear in my submission that these proposals have come about as a result of campaigns that have involved considerable public consultation over the last year and have also emanated from local residents’ requests. I’m afraid Adrian and Fran didn’t bother to speak to me about the situation before circulating their letters. But there again, I’m afraid that’s neither surprising nor new. It does however mean that it is helpful if you can write in support of the proposals as they stand, emphasising that they are as a result of residents’ requests and that local consultation has taken place.

Telephone Mast - Riverside Avenue

An application has been made to place a telephone mast on Riverside Avenue, replacing a street light between the entrance to Tesco and the traffic lights on Castle Lane East. I’ve written opposing this site and suggesting that it should be placed to the rear of Tesco closer to the entrance to the golf driving range.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ringmaster Message

I've recieved this message from Corhampton Road Neighbourhood Watch.

"Please be aware there has been an incident of a man late 30's, medium to stocky build, wearing a baseball cap, local accent, offering gardening services, producing a card with the name Turner or Turner's on it, driving an open backed vehicle white/grey, he became very aggresive to the home owner. If you encounter this man or know of him, please ring either crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or Boscombe Police on 222222."

Do please take care when answering the door and of course always ask for some formal, photographic, identification.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Environment Scrutiny and Review Panel

I attended the Environment Scrutiny and Review Panel this evening at the Town Hall.

The meeting was due to be about recycling. The Chairman, Lib Dem Councillor Roger West opened the meeting by saying that he would not allow any debate on either the green waste recycling scheme or the introduction of recycling in Bournemouth.

The town's recycling scheme is a success compared with what went before undoubtedly. The problems encountered with green waste collection and recycling and the problems of communicating the new scheme to residents need to be reviewed and discussed.

Why won't the Lib Dems allow discussion? Probably because they won't like the answers to the questions we'll be posing. But if we don't hold this review how will we learn from the mistakes that have been made and ensure that we give people what they want?

I'll be pushing in Council for this item to be placed on the Scrutiny and Review Panel Agenda as a matter of urgency.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The result of there still being no CCTV on Boscombe seafront

This photo about says it all. We need CCTV on the seafront urgently, and the Council are more concerned with selling sea front car parks to try and prop up their mismanagement of the town's finances!

It makes the person who sent me this picture, and me, despair.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Conservatives confirm opposition to ID cards

The Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis MP, has today written to the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell giving formal notice that an incoming Conservative Government would scrap the Government's ID card project.

David has also asked what provision, if any, has been made in the relevant contractual arrangements to protect the Government - and public funds - against the costs that would be incurred as a result of early cancellation of the scheme.

A similar letter has also been sent to the likely major contractors warning them of our intentions.

This is the text of the letter to Sir Gus...

"I am writing to you in relation to the Government's planned roll outof its national identity card scheme, commencing this year. You will be aware that there is a long standing convention that one Parliament may not bind a subsequent Parliament.

As you will also be aware, the Conservative Party has stated publicly that it is our intention to cancel the ID cards project immediately on our being elected to government. You are now formally on notice of our position and fully appraised of the contingent risks and associated liabilities arising from the national identity card scheme.

In light of these risks, I urge you to consider very carefully the government's position, in advance of the roll-out of the scheme later this year. As a matter of financial prudence, it is incumbent upon you to ensure thatpublic money is not wasted, and contractual obligations are not incurred, investing in a scheme with such a high risk of not being implemented. In particular, I would be interested to know what provision, if any has, been made in the relevant contractual arrangements to protect the Government - and public funds - against the costs that would be incurred as a result of earlycancellation of the scheme.

The Conservatives will be a launching campaign against Labour's ID Cards proposals tomorrow."

Hat Tip: Iain Dale

75 Durrington Road Planning Appeal Refused

You may remember that the planning application to demolish the family house at 75 Durrington Road and replace it with six flats was taken to appeal last September.

I'm very pleased to report that the Planning Department have just confirmed that the appeal has been refused by the Planning Inspectorate.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I'm voting, are you?

Estonia's General Election is on March 4th. This advert is appearing to encourage people to vote. The people are the well known Estonians in different fields (yes, they do exist).

The message on the shirts means 'I will vote, and you?'.

Perhaps we should organise similar adverts for the next local or general elections. Who would you choose? For me: Johnny Wilkinson, Dame Judy Dench, Cliff Richard, Richard Branson and Lord Coe.

Useless fact and Eurovision Link: Ines (laulja - which means singer) sang the 2000 Estonian Eurovision entry 'Once in a Lifetime', it came fourth.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Family Farms

Iain Dale has a great post about how the changes to UK Farming have effected he and his family here. I highly recommend it to you.

My family are remarkably similar, my mother's family were in farming in North Herfordshire on the Essex border and we subsequently moved to North Devon. The changes Iain talks about and, particularly in the Torridge area, Foot and Mouth, have changed farming and the countryside for ever, and not for the better.

BIC Wedding Fayre

I spent this afternoon helping man the Rubyz stall at the Wedding Exhibition at the BIC. In fact I didn't need to do that much really, Dame Kitty was a draw in her own right and I was lucky if I could get a word in edgeways!

I never knew that weddings were SUCH a huge business. It's the first time we have exhibited there, this is only the first day of two and we have already taken bookings for over 500 people, filling up what available space we had on Saturday evenings throughout April and May.

The range of services and products on offer is astounding. It's a real testament to the ingenuity and entrepreneurialism of people that they should develop businesses that cover such a diverse range of services.

Talking to other business owners there it was apparent though that everyone is suffering under the burden of extra regulation, both directly and indirectly applied by government.

I heard more than once that people were wondering whether it was worth continuing with their businesses and more often that they were no longer keen to employ people because of the regulation and additional cost concerned.

We must make moves quickly to begin to simplify legislation for businesses, take away some of their tax burden and make it easier and more flexible for them to employ people. Rescinding our introduction of the EU's Social Chapter would be a great start.

The place was packed and the organisation was clearly very professional. It's success is a huge credit to the BIC staff and Bournemouth Borough Council's events team.

This week news broke that the Conservative Party would not be coming to Bournemouth for our conference next year. I have to admit to having known this for a couple of weeks. What is heartening is that we will be returning, and more importantly for the staff of the Council and BIC, I know the party chairman has sent a message to them making it clear that the decision in no way reflects on their service, professionalism and the standard of the venue.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Southwick Road Telephone Mast - Appeal refused!

I have received the result of the Inspector’s report about the O2 mast at the back of the houses in Southwick Road.

I’m absolutely delighted to report that it has been turned down and the Inspector has basically told O2 to go and look again at a site on Iford Meadows.

I really thought we might lose this one and can’t tell you how pleased I am that it’s been turned down.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bournemouth Borough Council Post Offices Meeting

Straight off the plane this afternoon and down to the Town Hall to attend a meeting of the Developing Communities and Tackling Crime Scrutiny and Review Panel. The meeting was about the Post Office closure programme in Dorset and a number of councillors and members of the public attended.

I'm delighted to report that a motion deploring the closure programme was passed by the panel unanimously. They also called for Bournemouth Council to approach Poole and Christchurch to organise a joint approach to any proposed closures, starting with Bournemouth offering support to Poole over their opposition to the closure of the Post Office at Adastral Square, Canford Heath.

The motion now goes to Bournemouth's Cabinet for their approval and action.