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A New Years Resolution!


dippyhippy
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Well gang, it's 2015, and elections are looming ever closer!

 

There have been plenty of discussions over the past few years....plenty of questions asked, and some replies given.....but not always! My New Years Resolution is, to keep asking the awkward questions,to  keep reminding folks of what has been happening in this county, and to hope and pray that come May...things will change for the better!

 

This thread is specifically to ask councillors for the answers to those sticky questions, that just didn't get a reply.....!!!

 

For example.....

 

When will council meetings be streamed / filmed??

 

When will the burnt out River Island building be restored??

 

How much does Hoople pay to use the top floor at Plough Lane??

 

There are plenty more....but feel free to add you own, then they will all be easily accessed on the same thread!! Simples!

 

Happy New Year to you, and let's hope the results of this years election sees a positive turn for both Herefordshire, and Britain!

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Interesting questions.

The Council have served an enforcement notice on the High Town building so something should happen fairly soon to tidy it up.

That said and with the greatest of respect Dippy sometimes I think there is too great a focus on what to my mind are marginal issues. I believe that there are more important questions to be asked/answered before the election, such as:-

If the new administration is not tory what will they do about the Planning Core Strategy - will it be withdrawn for example.

Which parties are in support of a by pass and if not what are their alternatives (I don't want to hear "we will support other sustainable transport" but real practical solutions e.g turn off the lights/bus lanes where

What practical measures are to be introduced to combat the runaway spending in adult social care

How will they ensure that the environment of the city is improved (grass cutting, smooth roads, litter clearance etc)

Will they stop the relentless privatisation and bring back a direct labour force

Is there a plan to bring in a "Barnet style" operation

Will the politicians take back control from the Directors

 

These are just some straight off the top of my head. Things are about to get serious and I for one don't want to vote for a party that say they will be different to the tories just for change sake. I want to know what the real concrete offer is

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Evening Aylestone Voice!

 

Hope all is well with you - I have just got in, flicked on the TV, to be greeted by Dexys Midnight Runners performing Geno, in all their eighties glory!

 

Obviously I had to whirl around the front room like a thing possessed, and have now collapsed on the sofa, with a large glass of red - for medicinal purposes only! Not sure admitting to doing that on a public forum is a good thing, but hey ho! (Not sure you wanted to know that information either....!!!)

 

The questions I posed were straightforward ones, starters if you like to try to tempt some of our less communicative councillors into replying!

(Top marks to you though, Glenda....you have jumped straight in to answer them, and I will be very interested to hear the answer to the Hoople one in particular!)

 

I thought if I wrote a list of probing questions about the funding for social care, or the onward march towards regionalism, I might frighten them off!!

 

With only four months to go until polling day, we all need to be asking questions...and expecting to get replies! If councillors won't come on here, let's email them, and publish replies....this is such an important time for Herefordshire. I would very much like to know who is/isn't standing again....they must have some idea by now!

 

With regard to a bypass, a member on here has stated that IOC are prepared to have discussions about the possibility of an Eastern road and river crossing, and this will be in their manifesto....this is great news!

 

Let's hope that many more councillors follow Glendas' example, and start communicating with us on a regular basis!

 

Now.....where did I put that Deep Heat??? I think I may have pulled a muscle...!!!!

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I must make a correction.....the post I referred to above, re IOC and a bypass....I have just found it, and it is the members view and not yet official IOC policy. It does say they are prepared to have discussions if this proves viable.

 

Just wanted to make that clear!

 

(Now listening to  Cat Stevens and feeling a tad more mellow, and have taken the time to find the post in question, which is what I should have done in the first place!!)

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There are 6 Tories who are not standing  (plus the three who recently passed away) equalling 9, unfortunately the cabinet members are all standing again. I am standing but I have 5 candidates standing against me in the new Newton Farm ward, and only one of us can be elected to represent the people of Newton Farm. There are so many rumours going around as to who is or not standing from all groups. Don't get me started on the funding or lack of it for social care, and the new care in the community but no money to pay for it, yet last year the Tories employed two other people to "help the director of social care to do her job" at £500 per week each!  I asked the question at full council in February 2014 only to be booed by the Tories.

IOC are against the southern link road across the river Wye going from A49 to A465 to B4349 that is public knowledge as it has been in the HT.

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Evening Glenda!

 

As usual, I must thank you for your contributions!

 

I know IOC are against the Southern Link Road....so am I! It was the possibility of an Eastern route that I was referring to!

 

I am shocked that all cabinet members are standing again....I had heard that two of them were not.

 

I would be most surprised if you were not re elected - you're constituents must know they could not have a harder working councillor representing them.

Do you know when the "list " of who is standing where will be made public knowledge?? With such a short time between now and May, I would have thought decisions need to be made sooner rather than later??

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What concerns me is that however long the list of questions may turn out to be all we will get from the candidates will be glib responses

I am no supporter of the current administration but I do need to know what are the real alternatives. The worst outcome for us all would be to vote in a different administration - change for change sake - and carry on with the same problems we have now because there are limited solutions due to the lack of cash

Dexys - good grief!!!!

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Morning Aylestone Voice!

 

Yes, I share those concerns. We need real, open dialogue, and for the parties to set out their stalls so that the electorate can make an informed choice.

 

Turnout for local elections has often been disappointingly low - but so much has happened both locally and nationally, I am thinking that possibly the tide may have turned, and folks will get up off their backsides and use their vote.

 

(If you think Dexys is bad...you will be appalled to hear that this was shortly followed by a stomping performance of Ant Music.....I know,I know... the shame, the shame of it! I am suffering the consequences this morning.....!)

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Ah the best or worst according to your view of post punk music. The answer is to avoid BBC4 on Friday nights

I do agree that the state of the city and the council's services may encourage more to vote this time around. I get quite frustrated that we have political parties trying to play out national issues in local politics. That said it doesn't necessarily mean that I think IOC have (all) the answers

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HI HO DIPPY - good questions from you all and a good answer from Cllr Vaughen

 

All I can add at the moment is that we recorded the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert , now listening/ watching it - LOUD ! ( which is the only way to appriciate Queen ) .

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I'm feeling a little fragile this morning.....!

 

Absolutely NO loud noise allowed in our house today!

 

I did mention on another thread whether posters thought it might be worth Colin emailing an invite to councillors to sign up??

 

What do others think? Worth a go??

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Dippy , sounds a good idea to me - the people standing would soon gauge the feelings of members of HV , I presume that , if they have Campaign Managers ( or have I been watching to much West Wing and Scandle ) they would also benefit from access to HV

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Good Morning and Happy New Year.

I am standing for re-election again. I have no idea who else will stand against me and until nominations close and are formally published at beginning of April, no one will be certain who will stand for election and in which Ward.
Council goes into 'Purder' beginning of March, from then on no news media will cover politics unless it gives equal time to all parties.
No one standing for election will come on Hereford Voice as penalty is heavy fine and can lead to disqulification.

I think there will be one or two of the Cabinet retiring and other Tories too. As the general election is on the same day as the council elections, turn out is likely to be greater than last time. I fear that may give the Tories an advantage. The Tories and Lib Dems have more money than the IOC, who are considered in law a political party. Independents, being Independent, pay out of their own pockets for their election campaigns!

I have supported an Eastern route by-pass for 30 years as is well recorded in the HT and similar papers. I believe that most of my Indepedent councillor colleagues do to.

The budget debate is on going and finishes at Council in February. Once set it would be very difficult to change it for the coming financial year. It is proving very difficult to know where cuts can be made without more hurt for the most vulnerable. (Before you ask, pay scales are set nationally, and at market value. So little scope there for cuts)
There is still too much duplication. At any one time as many as 15 different disciplines can travel from Hereford to say Leintwardine for example. (Housing officer, social worker - children and adult, Environmental Health officer, planning officer! Community nurse, fire protection officer, other health officials etc). That is an awful lot of 40p per mile car journeys and dead time. Some of these disciplines could double up saving money from the public purse. So the Council and Health need to think more carefully where savings could be made.

I hope the Council will be made up of people who will put the county first, prepared to think and consult widely, not just with other Councillors but with the public too. We will have to wait until 8th May before we will get any idea what shape the Council will take.

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Hi Chris!

 

Happy New Year to you too!

 

Just a quick question....what do you mean when you say nobody standing will come on Hereford Voice? Why would they be fined, and possibly face disqualification??

 

I don't understand this at all...if you could enlighten me with more of an explanation I would be most grateful!

 

It seems very late - the beginning of April - for candidates to be announced.....it doesn't give them much time to convince us they are the best placed person to represent an area!

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With regard to travel....I had heard that "hubs" were being set up.....it was a while ago! If your hub base was say, Leominster, then you wouldn't be eligible to claim travel, only if you covered at another location, not named as your base!

 

As I say, this was quite some time ago, and has probably been dropped.

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Dippy , sounds a good idea to me - the people standing would soon gauge the feelings of members of HV , I presume that , if they have Campaign Managers ( or have I been watching to much West Wing and Scandle ) they would also benefit from access to HV

 

 

I emailed all councillors in the early days and again early last year, many signed up, but there are also a few like Mr Rone, Polly Andrews who signed up and have only ever signed in a few times, then there is Andy Myatt who originally signed up in 2010 and has NEVER posted, we spoke last year as he had forgotten his details so we re-set them and he is still to login. See screen shot attacked taken from my Administration portal, there is no hiding :)

 

Councillors.png

 

You can clearly see who are the active Councillors.

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Hi Colin....yes I remember this!

 

I wonder if the imminent elections would tempt any of them into a rethink???

 

This forum has really taken off - the amount of views and visits, not to mention comments stands as testament to that! As I said before, now that Hereford Voice has established itself as a medium for all of Herefordshire residents (as opposed to previously being Belmont Voice) ALL councillors should have an interest in putting forward their views.

 

Hereford Voice has in many ways now, got to the stage of replacing the HT comments......where barely a regular poster is to be found.

 

We are continually told they want to engage with the electorate.....well, we are here, and  happily waiting for them to do just that!

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Don't forget that before we get into elections there's the Examination in Public of the Council's big overall Core Strategy plan, 10-25 February at Belmont Abbey. The appointed Government Inspector, Christine Thorby has now read all the documents provided to her and has prepared a list of questions she would like answered. Some of those who made written comments and objections on the Core Strategy plan back in the summer will be attending the hearing and may be invited to provide further information and evidence. The outcome will be that the Inspector will find the Core Strategy Sound, or needing some amendments, or Unsound.

 

Some of the Inspector's questions on the website  https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/core-strategy/examination-of-the-herefordshire-local-plan-core-strategy

include:

Movement and Transport Policy SS4
18. What evidence is there that the movement and transport strategy would ensure the provision of viable infrastructure necessary to support sustainable development?
19. How will the strategy contribute to wider sustainability and health objectives?
20. What are the significant transport requirements which result from the scale of development planned or specific proposals in the Plan? How will they be delivered?
21. What measures have the Council undertaken to ensure that a Local Transport Plan will be in place post 2015?
22. Is there a risk to delivery of other objectives of the CS where major schemes are not part of a current Local Transport Plan?
Hereford Relief Road
23. Have other options been considered as part of the sustainability appraisal? Why is this the preferred approach?
24. What is the justification for the relief road?
25. What is the Highway Agency’s view?
26. What is the likely cost of infrastructure of the relief road and link road? How will it be funded? Is this realistic and achievable?
27. Has transport modelling of all or sections of the relief road been undertaken? What is the timescale for delivery?

 

These look like very good questions for the Inspector to ask!

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Hi Dippy,

 

Election law forbids publications to carry election messages from individual candidates unless it carries messages from all the candidates. Candidates have to put in an election return to the Election Registration Officer which includes any publicity. This gets technical, because what is publicity and how do you judge its financial worth? Candidates all have to provide receipts as evidence of proof to the ERO for any cost incurred. Courts can fine candidates and disqualify them if they break these rules.

 

I think Colin needs to contact the ERO at the Town Hall to clarify the situation. You will notice that the HT will make no mention of Councillors when reporting meetings when we go into Purder. BBC H & W will always give equal time to all the candidates, even UKIP! As candidates, all our election material has to carry an imprint saying who the printer is and who published the material.

There's a lot more to being a candidate than knocking on doors.

 

Candidates are never formally announced until thier papers have been accepted by the ERO. Once accepted then candidates are legally responsible for their own actions and those of their supporters! It has been known for a candidate to get into serious trouble with the law, because of the actions or words of supporters. A candidate on HV might get into trouble if an over enthusastic supporter, following a conversation, was to call an opponent a cad!! I hope this helps.

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To pick up on cloudberry's comment - Herefordshire Core Strategy 2011 - 2031. Note - 2011. It is now 2015 and the CS will (probably) be adopted at some point this year. It will be 4 years late and yet no one has been brought to account for such a delay and the damage that has occurred as a result - open season for planning permissions on green field sites in particular. Has any councillor asked why the delay and what the cost has been?

 

It was illuminating to hear someone on a radio phone-in recently, discussing what savings are still to be found within public spending. The caller was a retired local plans officer, who freely admitted he was grossly overpaid for what he did and that his department spent 6 years and £4m on a plan which was so complicated by the end that it was decided to bin it and start again. Such is the waste in public services. No doubt he is pulling down a large inflation proofed pension.

 

Back to the Inspectors questions - Q9 - Where is the new urban village?

 

Indeed.

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I emailed all councillors in the early days and again early last year, many signed up, but there are also a few like Mr Rone, Polly Andrews who signed up and have only ever signed in a few times, then there is Andy Myatt who originally signed up in 2010 and has NEVER posted, we spoke last year as he had forgotten his details so we re-set them and he is still to login. See screen shot attacked taken from my Administration portal, there is no hiding :)

 

attachicon.gifCouncillors.png

 

You can clearly see who are the active Councillors.

 

This highlights the activity of our councillors, a couple have hardly posted. 

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Hi Chris, thanks for replying so promptly!

 

"There is a lot more to being a candidate than knocking on doors." I quite agree, which is why it would be so valuable to actually HEAR from them!

 

What about if they each had their own thread????Would this be a way around it??

 

I understand the equal coverage, prior to an election, but am slightly perplexed as to why, if all candidates are given the opportunity to join, why posting on here could be an issue??

 

It seems that there are only a handful who choose to communicate with the good folks of Herefordshire at the best of times......now, in the run up to a very important election....they aren't allowed????

 

I can't quite believe this is right!

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Interesting questions.

 

How will they ensure that the environment of the city is improved (grass cutting, smooth roads, litter clearance etc)

 

Agree with you here Aylestone Voice. If they can't get the basics sorted out what hope is there for the more serious issues you raise. I have just taken some photos today of Sherborne Close which I have posted here. I am hoping that the mattress and shopping trollies on Great Western Way will get removed this coming week following Christmess. 

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I've seen those photos,Megilleland - not a pretty sight at all.

 

With regard to getting the "basics" right, the only way it would seem to get any control back over the services, and regain a grip on the purse strings, would be to bring these services back in-house.

 

I am guessing that with all these multi million pound contracts signed, that will be easier said than done....??

 

Unless of course, there is some "get out" clause...???

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Dippy, I have received today the answer to your 2nd and 3rd questions:

 

HOOPLE:  is charged £256k per annum for using 160 desks on top floor in Plough Lane. The charge is a per desk charge and covers accommodation, Telephones and ICT.

 

RIVER ISLAND SITE:  The 215 notice requires some remedial work to be completed by Feb 20th 2015. The council is having an on-going debate with the owners about their ability to complete the required work within the timescale. The agent acting for the owners is also pursuing the wider development of the premises ( and in accordance with the extant planning permission) this is the bigger prize the council are hoping to achieve at this stage there are no details on that timescale. The agent has been asked to keep the council advised in the run up to the 20th Feb.

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RIVER ISLAND SITE: The 215 notice requires some remedial work to be completed by Feb 20th 2015. The council is having an on-going debate with the owners about their ability to complete the required work within the timescale. The agent acting for the owners is also pursuing the wider development of the premises ( and in accordance with the extant planning permission) this is the bigger prize the council are hoping to achieve at this stage there are no details on that timescale. The agent has been asked to keep the council advised in the run up to the 20th Feb.

 

A poker game is in play. HC needs this sorted because it makes any proposition of filling up the empty shops in old town more difficult whilst this site remains as is. The owners know this and will want a lot more flexibility on development potential so perhaps a little bending on listed building restrictions is required.

 

A reduction in business rates would also help HC.

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