Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All change - in Quinton and in Westminster

Now everything's calmed down a bit, it's time to write about the last couple of weeks.

Firstly Quinton. I'm very sad that we've lost Jane James as one of the local Councillors. Jane ran a very good campaign, and the narrowness of the overall result (just 150 votes or so) reflected this. Jane was a great Councillor and will be sorely missed. Hopefully this will just be a temporary 'holiday' away from Council and Ward business.

Our Parliamentary Candidate Deirdre Alden was also unlucky not to win the Constituency by a similarly narrow margin (about 1,200 votes). Deirdre is a very genuine and hard-working person and has dedicated herself to the campaign for many years. I do hope that we'll still see lots of her in Quinton.

Now to more positive news. Naturally, I would like to welcome the new government as it starts work on its programme of change. The coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with the Conservatives as the larger party, mirrors the progressive partnership we’ve had in Birmingham for the past six years. We’ve demonstrated locally that such an arrangement can be stable, successful and can be made to work for everyone’s benefit.

I thought it would be useful to pick out a few key policies that are particularly relevant to Quinton.

1. Council Tax will be frozen for at least one year, possibly longer. It won’t be difficult for us to meet this challenge locally as we’ve only had below-inflation rises since the current partnership entered office. The Council will also publish details of all spending above £500.

2. The local Council will be given new powers to make it much harder for people to build by ‘garden grabbing’. Unfortunately, we’ve seen quite a lot of this in Quinton and the Council has been powerless to act until now.

3. The local Police will be made more accountable and responsive to local needs through oversight by a directly elected person.

4. We will give the Council and the local Police powers to permanently close places that persistently sell alcohol to youngsters, and double the maximum fine for doing so. We will also ban the irresponsible sale of alcohol as a ‘loss leader’; that is, below cost price.

5. Communities, charities, parents and teachers will be able to set up their own local schools.

I look forward to working with the new government as it puts these policies into action.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pompous puff "I look forward to working with the government" who the hell do you think you are !

Clark next then you and soon a Lib Lab coalition