Friday, 8 July 2011

**************************STOP PRESS**************************

Never let it be said that Northampton Borough Council doesn't get its priorities right. Or that they fail to understand who their friends are.

Further to the story below where the Council refused to work with the Community of Spring Boroughs to help them take control of the planning process in their area, we now hear via press release that they have instead agreed to back bids to the government for £20,000 each for the same scheme in other far more worthy and needy areas of the town.


Now don't get me wrong, I offer them my congratulations and bestbwishes for their project butbwho was it that said class politics is a thing of  the past?

In the Councils's arms they fluttered;
Like a bird wot's broke its wing.

But they screwed them and then left them,
On the street without a thing

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor that gets the blame,
It's the rich that gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bleeding shame.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


The people of Spring Boroughs have endured so much over recent years. Drug dealers and prostitutes have been driven from the area by residents assisted through succesfuly managed CASPAR programme only now for the Borough Council to begin to let them access back onto the estate through their new "choice based" letting scheme.

Likewise green areas and wasteland having been neglected by the same Borough Council for years have now been reclaimed by the residents, who then have to endure the Council using their efforts to claim their own corporate success under Britain in Bloom.

All this has happened against a background of negligent indifference from the Council who have done nothing to address the lack of Decent Homes standard in the 81% of Council owned homes in the Area.

So when Caspar (Castle Partnership) together with local teachers, health workers, the police, faith groups and most importantly local residents combined with Northampton University to seek government funding to pilot a " Local Development Plan" for the area which would put local people in control of the Planning processes which will ultimately affect them, the future looked at least a little brighter.

All we needed was the Councils support to submit the bid to government by the July 8th deadline.

Instead though we got shafted. The council spoke to the government and come up with a fudge, meaning that instead of any real power resting back with the people, the Council would only work with us at a future date on supplementing their own plans. Nothing it seems is going to interfere with their obsessive desire to railroad through their own "Joint Core Strategy" and "Central Area Action Plan" They know best, and we the people must fit in with their plans as they cannot let the public tail wag the corporate dogma.

This crass decision it seems was not even taken by elected Councillors, (is any such decision, these days?) The portfolio holder Cllr John Yates was simply told what the planners wanted him to agree with, and the silencing of a whole community was rubber-stamped under delegated powers. Meanwhile the views of newly elected local Cllrs were at best silenced and at worst manipulated. Council officers it seems, think that local politics is far more about preventing the people from taking part in affairs that properly concern them rather than working with them.

We shouldn't be surprised I guess, as we have all been here before, over the plans to demolish parts of the Eastfield Estate and the failed PFI bid, over the manipulation of Housing Tenants representatives, on the silencing of residents through injunctions, and the indifference shown to Market Traders and our local sports clubs.

There was a time when Local Government had purpose, integrity and above all elected accountability, now however it is but a shadow of it's former proud self and is simply a finishing school and career stepping stone for over ambitious Local Government Officers who hold and abuse all the power given to them without ever having to worry about any electoral consequences of their actions. Meanwhile we the public keep changing the colour of the Party we think are running the show at election time, when the reality is that any attempt to really change things is stimied by an incongruous elite who believe that public consultation means simply telling the people what's they think is good for them and then silencing them if they dare to disagree.

I was saddened to lose my seat on Northampton Borough Council in May, but having taken a step back I can now see that at present it is not a council fit to serve on, nor to bear it's latin legend "Castello Fortior Concordia" friendship is Stronger than a Castle.

I therefore suggest it changes that as well to something more fitting, how about "Copulas et Populas et Oficium es in Tutela"

Civility prevents me from offering a translation, but do feel free to try



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