Mione Goldspink's article for the Flyer, March 2017
By Mione Goldspink in The Flyer
Local Matters with Mione Goldspink
The County Council spends about £1Billion of our money every year, but it still cannot manage to maintain our roads to a satisfactory standard - there are pot holes all over the place. The Conservatives are in control - but they are failing to oversee the Highways Contractor properly. The Liberal Democrat Councillors at County Hall have proposed some changes to the way in which the Highways Department works, and twice the Tories have voted them down. The Lib-Dems then suggested that there should be an "All Party" review of the way in which Highway work is carried out - but the Conservatives rejected this as well. So we all suffer when our car wheels go down into a pot hole, cyclists risk serious injury, and the Council paid out £90,000 in compensation for damaged vehicles in the last financial year - what a shocking situation! Liberal Democrats say that there should be a proper plan for long term maintenance, and not the costly practice of emergency patching, which rarely lasts.
The Town Council (Conservative - controlled) seems to be equally short-sighted in its decision to cease the funding for the Night-Time Taxi Rank Marshals on Fridays and Saturdays. The presence of these Marshals has produced a fall in Town Centre crime, and a fall to zero in GBH or sexual offences. The scheme has been praised by the police Chief Inspector as it is obviously effective, but Town Councillors no longer wish to pay the £9,000 to fund it.
I was deeply troubled when Parliament voted to pass the Brexit Bill (to trigger article 50 to leave the European Union) without amendments. I think there should have been an amendment guaranteeing the right of all EU citizens who are currently working in the UK, the right to permanent residency. There should also have been an amendment which would have prevented our Prime Minister from offering up access to our NHS to foreign Healthcare Companies, and another to safe-guard Worker Rights, environmental standards, and many more. Then the final vote in Parliament should have three options: a) accept the terms and leave the EU, b) reject the terms, leave the EU and fall back on WTO rules, c) reject the terms & remain within the EU. It is quite wrong to give the Prime Minister a blank cheque for negotiations.
I congratulate the Editorial Team of the Flyer for keeping it flying for 101 editions! It is good to have such a lively forum for so many community groups, businesses, and opinions.
Thank you very much!
Mione Goldspink. (Chairman Bishop's Stortford Liberal Democrats).