Sunday, 14 November 2010

Parking Madness: A Question of priorities... (Update)

Its already widely known that Bryan Owen, leader of the Original Independents and county councillor for the Llangefni Tudur ward, has "called in" for further scrutiny the controversial parking changes in an attempt to stop them. He deserves great praise for leading the fight for common sense and for Anglesey's small businesses.

However the Druid is somewhat surprised that nothing so far has been heard from the member of the ruling group who also happens to chair the Anglesey chapter of the Federation of Small Businesses. I can't imagine that the FSB is in favour of these parking changes which will hit Anglesey's already struggling small retailers particularly hard. I would appeal to that councillor to put the interests of the small businesses he represents above those of the ruling coalition of which he is a part. This policy is seriously flawed and needs to be stopped before further damage is wantonly inflicted on Anglesey's town centre shops and businesses.

UPDATE 16 Nov: The councillor alluded to above, Cllr Selwyn Williams, did indeed speak out against the pay-and-display changes today and voted to send the decision to the Full Council. Well done him.

32 comments:

Insider again said...

Druid .
Your not surprised are you?

The ruling group would have the councillor you mention marginalised if he were to show any sort of decent. On the other hand, if he was marginalised as with the other 11 members which Bowles has mentioned, McGregor's and his Alliance would collapse over night.
All very interesting Stuff.

Anonymous said...

I hope Bowles is happy in the way he f..k.d Anglesey County Council up.
He done it before in another place and he'll do it again else where. Ill give him a month, I''ll give McGregor's Alliance even less.

David Williams said...

Evans Brothers in Menai Bridge or B&Q in Bangor? Answer - where can I park legally and economically? The council car park issue just needs some business friendly imagination e.g. first 30 minutes free or high season only charges. The consequence of the existing strategy in Menai Bridge is that apart from driving away trade, you can guarantee double yellow line parking outside Cefni Fruits, NatWest's ATM and Castle Bakery with associated traffic chaos.

The Red Flag said...

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

Anonymous said...

Andy. Sorry Red Flag.
Your A gem.

Anonymous said...

The Councillor Druid mentions above is not just the Chair of Anglesey's Chapter of the Federation of Small Businesses, he's also a member of Clive McGregor's group in the Alliance and Chairman of the Council.

Even if he wanted to object at Tuesday's call-in, I'm more than sure there would be those who would object on the grounds that he has a vested interest, unless that is he's applied and the Standards Committee have given him a dispensation to do so.
Which ever-way there will be some none to pleased. Sort of. Hung if you do and hung if you don't. We will see.

The Red Flag said...

The pressure national and local government are under is to quickly (ie over a couple of years) re-rganose spending and priorities at all levels so that we avoid this:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/14/ireland-economic-crisis

If our politicians at all levels - council-assembly-parliament do ot get this 100% right (90% is no good), then you won't need to worry about car parks.

And don't be deluded enough to think that the £10M over three years is all. There will be more cuts than that - guarenteed.

Anonymous said...

Im not so bothered about cuts, its the lack of corporate governance, accountability and business acumen that is maddening, coupled with contempt for voters.

Why cant these guys be more commercial?

Prometheuswrites said...

Good link Red Flag to the Guardian article about the dire straits experienced by Eire's middle classes.

Following on here's one about Holyhead that treads similar boards.

"Holyhead families hit as housing subsidy is scrapped".

http://www.theonlinemail.co.uk/bangor-and-anglesey-news/local-bangor-and-anglesey-news/2010/11/03/holyhead-families-hit-as-housing-subsidy-is-scrapped-6
6580-27585394/

I thought this quote from the article interesting:

"This summer, Anglesey County Council changed its housing policies which means that county councillors now have virtually no say in the housing system.

Councillors are not told who gets council house tenancies and can only help a constituent find out how many points they have on the list.

Mr Hadley said: "To me this is all wrong. Now they’ve changed all the rules so that an elected member can’t do anything. it’s taken away my reason for being a councillor."

Did anyone else know this had happened?

Housing, Car Parks, Planning, all slowly slipping away from councillors and into the hands of the council executive and unelected officers who are 'there to support councillors'.

Can't say I see it inspiring public confidence.

What was that about restoring trust in the Council. Wasn't that one of ruling Alliance's key five aims?

Anonymous said...

Prometheuswrites
Your comments go right to the heart of the problems we have at council.

Since David Bowles came, he has instigated so many changes that we no longer need Councillors. He has, and still is, nibbling away at our democratic process and ensuring via his lap dog Leader of the council that his executive that he gets his way.

This is one of the reasons why they want to be rid of one of our most out spoken councillors because he won't have any of it and tell's them so. But I feel the commie mentality has taken over and that the councillors who really care about the people and democracy should boycott all meetings before its to late.

TGC said...

"which means that county councillors now have virtually no say in the housing system."

Personally, I think that's a good move. However much the points-based system might need improving, the last thing you want - and is what we've had for so long - is some puffed-up councillor interfering with the system in their favour.

Their position is: the more we intervene, the more likely we are to get re-elected. That's the wrong viewpoint. It should be fairness, not re-election, that is foremost in their minds.

I fail to see why a proper, considered points-based system, coupled to good management of same (almost always lacking, of course), needs anything other than an objective assessment of the person's needs. If the person has difficulty getting his/her point across or getting listened to, which is pretty common, then it should not be a councillor who picks up the baton, but someone more independent.

Anonymous said...

TGC.
Its not interfering at all. It's Councillors representing their Constituents. That's what Councillors do. That's what they were elected to for, to represent the people.
What your advocating is the people in such cases are on their own and there's no need for Councillors. That's is a very slippery slop to all out Bureaucracy. Beware.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how a reasonable campaign by the Druid can be hijacked by those who are bitter about the council on this site.

TGC said...

"That's what Councillors do. That's what they were elected to for, to represent the people."

I'd say that's what Councillors *should* do, what they were elected for but seemingly *don't* do, and *should* represent the people.

If that's not true, then we wouldn't have needed a partial take-over, would we?

There's democracy and then there's the pretence of democracy. I'd rather go with an accountable paper-trail than with a wink-and-a-nod system, any day.

Anonymous said...

10:48.

With all the breaches of people's Human Rights, Anglesey County Council, have been and still are involved in, completely destroying the well-being of whole families. Are you saying there is nothing to be bitter about?

Prometheuswrites said...

TGC:
Your comment at 11.50 hits the nail on the head.

I read your initial post of 7.46 like Anon of 8.55: though I thought you were playing Devils Advocate, inasmuch as the argument could be extended fully to proposing an even more radical solution than Mr Durkin's for making savings by doing away with councillors altogether.

"There's democracy and then there's the pretence of democracy" ... and there's the rub ... do we have a democracy when Manifesto promises are reversed, never mind broken, (Mr Clegg).

I remember the 1983 Labour manifesto being described as 'the longest suicide note in history', (presumably due to the length of the document) - now the Libdems bring a new meaning to the same phrase, this time 'the longest suicide note' being temporal in nature.

PS. Does anyone know what happened to the NLP (Natural Law Party) - at least they always appeared to be having fun - even if was of the 'bouncy castle' variety.

Prometheuswrites said...

@ anon 10:48

"It's amazing how a reasonable campaign by the Druid can be hijacked by those who are bitter about the council on this site".

Given that the title of this thread starts with the words "Parking Madness:" and is directed against the councils public parking decision (taken by just the portfolio holders and with only the council's corporate directors consulted (see the scribed document) I fail to see how it has been hijacked.

How does one differentiate relevent comments from bitter comments when the issue itself is so highly charged?

Prometheuswrites said...

Political nit-picking I know but - describing David Bowles as a commie is to misuse the term commie.

What Marx wrote about in 'The Communist Manifesto' was the means of production being owned/ controlled by the workers, (that's what the Labour parties dropping of 'clause four' was all about and is what shifted Labour from the centre-left to the centre-right).

Marx also predicted (erroneously) the 'withering away of the state under a communist government.

Neither of these descriptions fits Mr Bowles.

'Dictorial' may be more appropriate, but what would we know as he does seem to be more akin to the 'invisible man' of HG Wells fame.

The Red Flag said...

With all the breaches of people's Human Rights, Anglesey County Council, have been and still are involved in

If someone has had their Human Rigghts breached there are plenty of smart-arse solicitors who will gladly take it up on a No win, No Fee' basis.

Penoni's in Manchester are among the UK's leading litigation specialists.

The Red Flag said...

What Marx wrote about in 'The Communist Manifesto'

And Engels. He might have only been a bit-part but he had a hand.

Prometheuswrites said...

Red Flag:
I find Engles writings to be more accessible than Marx's, and more pertinent to the British working class, (historically speaking).

Wasn't the cyclical nature of capitalistic boom and bust one of his (Engles) theories?

The Red Flag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Red Flag said...

Wasn't the cyclical nature of capitalistic boom and bust one of his (Engles) theories?

Possibly. More likely Marx's Capital (which was edited by Engels) but Engels does go on in some of his own stuff about the cyclical nature of capitalism which causes it to destroy itself from time to time in order that it can grow again and the fact that during these destructive periods it's the workers that suffer not the capitalists.

PrometheusW said...

Red Flag:
Yep, That's the one - where the big companies buy out all the small companies and we end up with monopolies and cartels.

The Red Flag said...

Prom - yes that's it. As the weaker companies collapse the stronger ones buy them out and slowly strangle the market and gain more power and control over their workers whilst at the same time shovelling money into their shareholders pockets. Ultimately the situation arises where super-companies control everything in their production process from raw material acquisition right through to the point of sale.

Anonymous said...

The call-In on this Pay & Display fiasco is at 11:00 at the Council Officers in Llangefni tomorrow. This is a public Meeting and all are Welcome.

voice on the street said...

oh goody. Should be riveting

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain what the 'Black Swan' inference is.

Billy Elliot

Draigoch said...

I thought these words might be an useful reminder for those who will be considering the issue on Tuesday. They are taken from an FSB document on Parking and sets out their policies on Parking for sustainable communities

"Independent retailers in town centres are the engines of local economies and parking policy must take account of the needs of
small businesses if town centres are to thrive. Businesses rely on the movement of goods and people and on their ability to stop
at their desired destination. Parking is vital therefore, not just for business owners and their employees, but also for deliveries
and customers.

Small market towns and their outlying rural communities are hit particularly hard by the imposition of parking charges. In these car dependent communities, free access to the town centre is essential not only for the purposes of shopping but also for
social interaction."

The link to the full document is

http://www.fsb.org.uk/keeptradelocal/images/fsbparkinglores.pdf

Surely common sense will prevail on Tuesday and hopefully stimulate a debate which eventually leads to the provision of free short-stay shopper parking in our town and village centres.

Draigoch said...

The full link to the FSB parking policy document is:

http://www.fsb.org.uk/keeptradelocal/images/fsbparkinglores.pdf

Anonymous said...

Draigoch: Wouldn't it be a wonderful idea to have someone important on the County Council who knew all about FSB matters!!!

Someone who is not totally scared of having the Head Above Water

Anonymous said...

13:55 We have and he did stick his head above the water yesterday at Scrutiny. He's also the Chairman of the FSB.