26 Apr 2010

Top ward issues on the doorstep

Last week we had the last Full Council meeting - a hard time was given to the Tory administration for their 2009 Environmental Policy document - why 2009 when we are now in 2010 - well to be fair it is a good set of aspirations and is streets ahead of other Glos Councils - but it was also quite a bit of waffle with no real targets or actions - those come later.....there were some other bits of business and I suppose if not elected in May that will have been my last Council meeting....hopefully not!

Photo: My attempt to get into Glum Councillors website - see more re pot holes below!

In fact I have been delighted by the welcome on so many doorsteps - and must mention a 15 year old paperboy who stopped me to ask for some Green party posters - he is now cycling around with Vote Philip Booth on his panniers! Great stuff and a goods boost to me - it is not a large ward to go around by some standards but there are some good hills to climb. I've nearly got around the whole ward knocking on all doors - with help from Green party colleagues who have kindly supported me - hopefully everyone should also have received a leaflet - if not please download from here. I'm also very happy to answer queries either by phone or email.

Anyway it is hard to gauge what issues are most popular as conversations twist and turn and start in different places...but here are some of the issues that got a mention that specifically relate to the Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward:

1. Ruscombe Valley developments - this gets from probably over 25% of people - and not surprising as it has been lots in the news - see background here and the work I and others have been doing to ensure developments don't go ahead.

2. Lack of food waste collection - several people raised this one - unlike our neighbouring authorities Stroud still hasn't got it's act together re collecting food waste - this is just not good enough - we are supposed to be a 'green leader'. Well at least plans are in the pipeline and Greens will be pushing hard to have them realised.

3. Traffic speeds -
many will know I have been keen to see more traffic calming measures - see here details - several people said how they could not let their children go on their own to play in the playground in Whiteshill because of the speeds on the main road.

4. Climate Change -
perhaps because I'm a Green this issue got a fair few mentions and it is probably no surprise that this issue along with fuel poverty and energy security is one that I have been working on lots - see here details.

5. Pot Holes -
In the UK, there’s apparently an average of one pothole for every 110 metres of road - well I reckon the rest of the country must be in a good state as Gloucestershire must have most of the pot holes - of course this is a County Council issue and not District - but nevertheless an issue that needs addressing and no wonder that so many people raised it as an issue. I would urge all folk to report pot holes to the County Hotline number 08000 514 514 or online here.

If people are having a problem with a pot hole that has gone on too long - which holes haven't? Then I suggest telling the County you will be filling the hole with water and having a plastic duck swimming around for the local press?

Recently I came across the Glum Councillors website - a collection of pics from the press and internet of glum councillors pointing at pot holes and the like: http://glumcouncillors.tumblr.com/

My photo bid to be included is above - although I can't help thinking we need some more sites to celebrate the positive in life....the County are managing to fill over 100 a day but I do question the quality of some of the work being done? It looks as if it wont last in some of the cases....Nearly 500 pothole-related claims were received by Gloucestershire County Council in the first three months of this year, more than all the claims in 2009.....I expect there will be more although I read in the press that quite a few have already been rejected.

Other topics that got mentions included:

New allotments - quite a number of people had heard about this development that has taken us over 2 years to birth - some folk on the doorstep were keen to join the waiting list - I urge people to do that as we can then start looking for another site - this last week we have had another meeting - the first offcial one of the Allotment Association and this Saturday we were out again marking the site, clearing stone and repairing the wall - some 20 of us there - see more here.

Photos: Allotment getting cultivated and then afterwards marked out on Saturday and wall repaired

Verge sides - two people have mentioned these - Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish are specifically looking at this issue and plan primroses for Primrose Hill and wild flower verges in other places. I am also interested in seeing a few more trees in some places. On 15th May the Parish has a drop-in session to discuss some of this - details here - bring along any ideas.

Broadband - a couple of people mentioned his - see here my hopes to improve things.

Fly-tipping - this had a mention by two people partly because of the site in Bread Street pictured left that now has a sofa in it - this is a notorious site for McDonald rubbish as folk stop up there in evenings and tip their wrappers out the window. Stroud District recently had their first successful prosecution - see my recent post on this here - I have reported this incident - it seems crazy to me that people go to that trouble when the Council has a free bulky waste collection service - see here - you can also report fly-tipping online here: www.stroud.gov.uk/docs/environment/fly_tipping.asp

Hey that's enough from me for now - lots more got talked about but no time or inclination to scribble it here!

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