Archive for the ‘Local Government’ Category

[Letter] “Arrogance” of our town councillors

Posted on Saturday 18th October 2014 at 7:52 pm by Fred Hillberg (Forum)

Reader's letter (Bradley Stoke Journal).

Like many of your readers, I was amazed at the arrogance shown by our town councillors in ignoring the will of Bradley Stoke residents, who voted in favour of extra car parking at the Brook Way Activity Centre & Bradley Stoke Surgery site, in place of the existing tennis courts (also the cheapest option).

Still, this is something we have experienced for many years – the cronyism, the secret meetings and the cosy little ‘Conservative club’ who think they can walk on water and spend our tax as they wish.

We have the same stale old faces year after year who have gained their seats with marginal votes and have not been challenged by the electorate, so we are all to blame.

Town councils have very little power anyway, and have to obtain permission from South Gloucestershire Council for anything of any significance, and the budget money goes back and forth to pay for services provided by South Gloucestershire anyway. So what’s the point of a town council? Democracy? Accountability? That’s a joke! It’s just another layer of bureaucracy, which we pay for, and an ego trip for most of the councillors.

What we need is more independent councillors at all levels, who have the interest of the public who voted them in, and not their political masters. It should also be compulsory that you live in the area you represent.

Remember, we get what we deserve. Use your vote, it was fought for! And have your say!

Fred Hillberg, Bradley Stoke

This letter originally appeared in the October 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Related link: Brook Way consultation “a costly waste of time,” says disgruntled neighbour

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[Forum] Bradley Stoke Town Council moves into new premises

Posted on Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 6:50 am by Cllr Roger Avenin (Forum)

Bradley Stoke Town Council's new office under construction.

Bradley Stoke Town Council moved into the new premises at the Jubilee Centre on Monday 18th June. Details of the new address and telephone numbers can be found on the website.

This represents a significant achievement as the building was completed earlier than expected and was well within the budget set. Preliminary indications are that the cost is a little over £300k which is significantly lower than the figure of £400k which was previously bandied about. Credit for this must be given to the Town Council staff, many of whom worked tirelessly to achieve this. Notwithstanding the size of the development, this must be one of the few projects anywhere that has been achieved early and well within cost. Additionally the Town Council is now more centrally located and within easier reach of a larger number of residents.

When the loan for the building is eventually paid off (in lieu of rent of circa £30k pa), this new building will virtually represent a free resource for the town.

The decision to build in the first place was made by the Conservative-run council and is both pragmatic and financially prudent. Such a course of action would most certainly not have been made by any other administration

At a later date it is planned to hold an official opening ceremony.

Cllr Roger Avenin, Bradley Stoke Town Council

Photo: The new office pictured during construction in April.

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Town Council had “no comment” on October planning applications

Posted on Monday 14th November 2011 at 8:37 am by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Council

October’s meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning Committee, which was inquorate because only three of its eight members turned up, has submitted the following consultee response to South Gloucestershire Council for each of the seven planning applications it was due to consider:

“Bradley Stoke Town Council has ‘No Comment’ to make on the above mentioned planning application.”

Draft minutes of the (non-)meeting explain:

“Councillors agreed that, as a response was required from the town council, to all the above planning applications, before the next town council meeting, a ‘No Comment’ response to all the above planning applications should be lodged with SGC Planning Department.”

Of the five absent committee members, three are recorded as having submitted apologies (Cllrs Keir Gravil and Tony Griffiths were the ones who didn’t).

Agenda topics that had been scheduled for discussion at the meeting included an “update on Road Safety concerns on Bradley Stoke Way”.

The Council’s standing orders permit any Councillor to nominate a substitute to attend a meeting.

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[Forum] Let’s see more locals on the Town Council!

Posted on Wednesday 30th March 2011 at 10:03 pm by John Miller (Forum)

In a few weeks time it’ll be elections again. And I would like to appeal to voters in Bradley Stoke, in regard to the Town Council elections.

It may not be common knowledge (and is not always apparent at voting time) that the composition of the present Town Council is 7 residents of Bradley Stoke and 8 non-residents.

Which is a highly unusual situation. All of the five adjacent town/parish councils consist solely of residents of their own town/parish. And this is surely as it should be.

It is my belief that the local council should comprise of local people, that is to say, those who experience day-to-day life in the town. Whereas the majority of Bradley Stoke council members simply come for meetings or photo opportunities, and then return to life in their own home parish.

To give an instance of this non-residence domination, recently a vote was taken on a controversial proposal to build an extension to the Jubilee Centre in order to house the Town Council administrative staff.

The voting was 6 for, and 4 against. Of the residents voting, it was 2 for, and 3 against. Furthermore, a consultation had been carried out, and the responses listed showed 13 for the proposal, and 42 in favour of continuing to rent. This was almost completely ignored by the Councillors before voting.

Another instance of the situation, is that in each of the last two years a non-resident has worn the Mayoral chain.

Please, please, please voters make your first consideration RESIDENCE of the candidates. Not their political persuasion. I wish all candidates were independent, but that is unlikely.

Ensure that Bradley Stoke is managed by Bradley Stoke people, not visitors.

Yours sincerely,

John Miller, The Beeches, Bradley Stoke

Ed: Interested in standing for the Town Council? Read this: Standing for Election (candidates). The deadline for nominations is 12 noon on Monday 4th April 2011. More info: 2011 District and Town Elections (The Journal)

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