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Hypocrisy in call to gather for farm fight
3:16pm Friday 29th June 2012 in Letters
I have just read the article from Cllr Heaton-Jones and MP Tomlinson regarding Tadpole Farm (Adver June 9). It reeks of hypocrisy.
Cllr Heaton-Jones said: “It’s important people turn up because it’s important that the planning committee understand the strength of feeling in the local community. The planning committee have in front of them an application from the developers and the report from the planning officer, which is the information on which they will base their decision. But what they don’t have in front of them at this meeting is anything that indicates the strength of feeling amongst the local community.”
Cllr Heaton-Jones said the main concerns were that extra traffic from the site would cause congestion on local roads, and there would not be adequate additional infrastructure and facilities provided.”
Could this be the same Cllr Heaton-Jones who, as our MPs’ assistant, has attended meetings with Croft residents since early 2011 and heard their concerns over the process, our treatment and the quality of evidence put forward by the Local Authority?
Could this be the same Cllr Heaton-Jones who as a member of the Scrutiny Committee sat and listened to Croft Residents questions and concerns and did nothing? Cllr Tomlinson, Cllr Heaton-Jones’ colleague on the Scrutiny Committee, also heard the same concerns and questions from Croft Residents and did nothing. Could this be the same Cllr Tomlinson who, as Vice Chair of the Planning Committee, seconded the Croft School application without having asked a single question as she stated that she was satisfied?
The Croft planning committee had everything in front of them, they knew the strength of feeling in the local community and yet they chose to ignore everything other than what the Officers told them to think. The officers who stated that the Croft must happen are the same officers who are currently withholding the evidence of need that residents questioned in the first place.They won’t even tell our MP!
The blight that is the Croft can be laid squarely at the door of the November 29th 2011 Planning Committee who had it in their power to demonstrate that democracy existed in Swindon. They could have done their duty and held officers to account. They failed.
If the Planning Committee had fulfilled their obligations they would, at minimum, have asked for a deferment until officers fulfilled their responsibilities. That they did not is a blot on their respective records.
From what I have read the Tadpole Farm application planning report is a shabby and shoddy piece of work. Perhaps the Planning Committee hearing the Tadpole Farm application may put a bit more effort into scrutinising what the officers put before them. No wonder these councillors are so concerned about the Tadpole Farm planning application, because they know how the system works in Swindon. Kareen Boyd Old Town Swindon
Do the job right
It’s not often that I agree with my fellow correspondent Mike Spry but I do concur with his comments on the poor standard of grass cutting in the Borough.
The issue is not as Coun Bluh so ludicrously maintains between grass cutting and caring for the elderly; indeed his own party at Westminster is at pains to point out that they have given local authorities sufficient money to fulfil their obligations with regard to the elderly in care. This means that the council does not have to make such stark and unreal choices as suggested.
The point Mike Spry makes is not that a choice be made between one service and another, rather he refers to the poor quality of workmanship which has left many grassed areas looking as if the grass cutter ‘should have visited’ a well known national opticians.
There is no issue of time or money involved in this debate, the only issue is one of doing the job right first time. I am glad to be able to advise that on Sunday last, my local councillor walked part of the area in which I live and took some photographs which will provide pictorial evidence of the situation.
It is a matter of concern that officers from the council seem to just accept poor standards as an inevitable consequence of change brought about by cost saving.
My experience of business is that we had to facilitate savings without sacrificing service levels. It can be done, but not it seems in the public realm.
Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon
The Conservative controlled Swindon Borough Council has been reported as facing the possibility of making hard choices, between “cutting the grass and caring for vulnerable people”" (Adver, June 8).
Decisions about allocating public resources should be fundamental to all those overseeing publicly funded bodies. Indeed the Labour politician who founded the National Health Service said that the language of priorities should be the religion of socialism.
It can hardly be surprising, though, that some people in Swindon may have a jaded view of the council's actual priority setting. For all the good works done by many of the council employees and services, much of what the council has done in recent years does not appear to follow fine principles.
Thus we see long lasting and hideous boarded up spaces marking the sites of many demolished buildings. We also see rather pointless hard paved open areas near the Whalebridge Roundabout and, eventually to be finished, in front of Swindon Railway Station.
Is this evidence of hard choices? Some might think it more like the emperor’s new clothes, or taking a purely cosmetic approach to an underlying problem rather than a realistic one.
Geraint Day Southampton Street Swindon
I was most disappointed with the amount of dog excrement on the paths at Stanton Park whilst walking with my three year old grandaughter, even though there are dog waste bins available.
It is a park for everyone to enjoy not just to be used by the few irresponsible dog owners who do not bother to clean up after their animals.
This is not only antisocial but can also pose a serious health hazard to children.
Bethany Woolfenden Boundary Close Swindon
On behalf of Swindon Walcot and Parks Community Group and the management committee of Buckhurst Park Community Centre, may I thank everyone who came out and supported our Jubilee /Olympic community celebration on June 6 on Buckhurst Recreational Field and in the community centre.
We had limited funds and some volunteers who had promised their support did not come but we managed, we hope, to put on an event that bought the community together to have an enjoyable fun day.
Our thanks to Tesco Octal Way and Wilkinsons for funding support. Many special thanks go to our local neighbourhood wardens, SBC leisure services, the SBC Safe Bus personnel, Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire Brigade, Naz Ali (locality lead), Chris Woods (locality facilitator), the super star crew from Youth First, Marlowe Avenue, the dazzling duo from Sussex Square Co-op, local resident volunteers and our three very special guests, Lesley Ann Skeete, Park South’s own Olympic and Commonwealth athlete, Nicky Parker, 2012 Torchbearer and Rob Buckland MP, all of whom made the day a special one.
If you would like to get involved in any of SWAP’s activities please visit our website at http://www.walcotandparks.
btck.co.uk/ or contact us on 01793 692636. We need more volunteers to enable us to put on more events like this, please.
Carol Brownlee SWAP Events Co-ordinator
It is very clear to me as a prolific reader of three daily newspapers and internet newspaper websites, that the silent majority expect better from their politicians than is currently ensued, at local level and national level, not to mention the financial disaster at European level.
The citizens of one individual sovereign nation, showing dissent clearly illustrated before our eyes on the visual marvel of modern technology, namely Greece. Has it come to the fact that every few years they seek our votes then betray us?
That is the way I peruse it and I suspect I am not alone. However, there is a grave danger in this perspective. History has stamped its past on this prognosis.
Bill Williams Merlin Way Swindon