Mione Goldspink's article for the Flyer, September 2017
By Mione Goldspink in The Flyer
Local Matters with Mione Goldspink
July and August have been unusually busy this year. Thousands of residents from Sawbridgeworth and Ware signed petitions about their swimming pools, and presented them to the District Council. They were asking for the funding for the 2 pools to be continued, so that the pools could remain open. As a result, the District Council has agreed to hold a proper consultation and to look again at all the funding options. I am personally very pleased about this outcome, as I have always thought that it was grossly unfair to take money away from Sawbridgeworth and Ware in order to upgrade pools in Bishop's Stortford and Hertford.
Another big change, which might have slipped through, was the proposal from our Police and Crime Commissioner that he should take over the running of the Fire and Rescue Service. Fortunately, our County Councillors were alert to the implications of such a takeover, and voted to refuse this proposal. At the moment, the Fire Service works, and is supported by, the County Council, and when decisions are made, there is clear democratic accountability. If all the power were to be invested in the Police Commissioner, in one man's hands, it would be very much harder to hold him to democratic account. Also, apparently, the Firemen themselves wish to be kept separate from the Police, and I think their views should be respected.
A different aspect of democracy, happening at the moment, is the public consultation on Dustbin collections. The District Council will soon be making a new contract for Waste Collection and Street Cleansing. One suggestion is a charge for emptying the Brown Bin and our opinions are requested. The consultation is online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EHCWaste, or you can phone East Herts District Council 01279 655621 and ask for a paper copy. The Survey is supposed to finish on August 31st. I am contacting the Council to asked for an extension to this deadline, to give August Holidaymakers a chance to contribute.
I am delighted to see that the Royal British Legion has found a new home at Apton Centre, and is making plans for this year's Poppy Appeal. There have been many very moving ceremonies to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ghastly fighting at Passchendaele this summer. The Poppy Appeal will help us remember the sacrifices made by so many brave soldiers.
Mione Goldspink. (Chairman Bishop's Stortford Liberal Democrats).