Saturday, 3 May 2008

It's back!

Following a small campaign by myself and fellow North Road ward councillor Fred Lawton, plans for a children's play area attached to the new North Road Primary School have been re-instated. But it was the Echo that told us - not the officers!
Fred spoke strongly in the Children and Young People's Scrutiny Committee for the re-instatement of the play area, a speech which was picked up and reported in the Echo.
Yesterday afternoon, Paul Cook from the Echo phoned me to say he had received a press release from the Council saying that officers had decided to include a new play area on the site of the existing Grass Street Park.
Of course, being of the mushroom (kept in the dark...etc etc) tendency, Fred and I, the ward councillors campaigning on this issue, were not informed or consulted by officers either before the play area was dropped, or before it was re-instated. In fact, we still haven't heard anything at all from the Council about this. The Echo (as with the EC Harris report on the Eastern Transport Corridor) was told about it first. If Paul hadn't rung us, we still wouldn't know about it.
I am very pleased that the Council has seen sense and re-instated that play area; they certainly wouldn't have done if Fred and I had not spoken up about it. But I continue to be very disturbed at the way in which some Council officers, no doubt encouraged by their political masters in the Labour Cabinet, continue to ignore ward councillors.
We are elected to be Champions of our communities, but are systematically ignored when decisions about our wards are made.

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