Mione Goldspink's article for the flyer, June 2019
By Mione Goldspink in The Stortford Flyer
Local Matters with Mione Goldspink June 2019
The Local Election results were good for the Liberal Democrats, and I am writing as a delighted member of the Lib Dem team. We now have 5 Town Councillors out of 17, and 4 District Councillors from Bishop's Stortford (out of 13), and, with 2 other Lib Dem and 2 Labour and 2 Greens from across the District, we will provide some opposition. The Tories still have huge majorities on both Councils, but at least we have broken their stranglehold, and we can offer some scrutiny and opposition. We are hugely grateful to everyone who voted for us, and we are determined to work hard to justify the trust which has been placed in us. We acknowledge the disappointment which was suffered by the standing Councillors who were defeated, and we applaud the dignified way in which they accepted their defeat.
Now our work must begin. We made a start at Full District Council on May 15th, when we proposed a Motion that the Old River Lane Development should be put on "hold" to allow some time for further consultation with Residents and with Professional Theatre Companies and Agencies. There are still very serious concerns about the 6-storey Car Park at Northgate End (which is an integral part of the scheme) and the lack of evidence that theatre companies would actually come to Bishop's Stortford to use the proposed new Theatre. The proposed Car Park will tower above the existing buildings, and we consider it will have an adverse effect on the Conservation Area. We believe that it is important to have good, sound evidence before committing £30 million of Tax Payers Money to this project. Sadly, the Tories rejected our reasoning, and rejected the motion. We now wait to see if a group of Residents will proceed with a request for Judicial Review.
Air Pollution and the Climate Emergency are two important issues which affect us all. We will lobby hard for more effective action against air pollution. We asked at Full Council for Climate Emergency to be added to the list of factors which must be considered and taken into account whenever a new policy or action is discussed and adopted. We will press for more and better sustainability features on all new buildings. With so many new houses being built across the Town, there is a golden opportunity to ask for solar panels to be fixed on roofs as standard, for shutters to keep homes cool in hot weather, and for ground source heat pumps to be installed where ever possible. So, we have lots of ideas for helping to make the Town a better place, and we plan to work hard on both Councils. We will work for the whole community, and not just the people who voted for us. If you have any ideas, or problems with which we can help, please do get in touch. Meanwhile, enjoy the Town Carnival on June 15th.
Chairman, Bishop's Stortford Liberal Democrats
East Herts District Councillor