Monday, 9 November 2009

Stung into action

Labour's three Cabinet members who represent Haughton West ward have been stung into action by our newly formed Focus Team. This weekend the first edition of Labour's Haughton West Community News hit the doormats, complete with grainy photos, "Working for you all year round" and "Tell us what you think". I guess we should be flattered that they've produced a near carbon copy of a Focus leaflet.

Sadly, although one of the photos shows Andy Scott (probably, hard to tell with his back to the camera), surveying the Springfield Park play area, presumably after the local Lib Dems got the Council to clean it up a couple of weeks ago, there is no-one pointing in any of the photos and no-one looking glum. They'll never get into Glum Councillors if they carry on like this.


Darlington Councillor said...

Hmm. Bit harsh, Mike.

Firstly, it's very difficult to know whether our newsletter is anything like a Focus - we've seen very few of them in Haughton West over the years. I've lost count of the number of newsletters and typed letters Labour has put out via David, myself. Still, I guess the LibDems have got to begin somewhere!

Just for the record, though, it was Labour councillors who;

(1)Successfully fought the Tory plans that would have seen the playing field disappear under a road and houses in the 1990's.
(2) Campaigned to have a play area built on the playing field, with drainage to make the field more accessible.
(3) Pushed for CCTV to be erected in the field, at considerable cost. Not every piece of open space in Darlington has 24-hour CCTV! This was after a long period working with local residents who had to put up with the misery of hundreds of youths, sometimes on the field drinking on a Friday and Saturday.
(4) Liaised with officers to have a path built from the Sparrow Hall Drive 'end' of Green Lane to the playing field, so kids and their parents wouldn't constantly have to walk through mud in the winter.
(5) Were successful in having the play area resurfaced last year.
(6) On numerous occasions we have flagged up with officers the need to have the play area swept of glass or litter, or had grafitti cleaned off - Street Scene have always been happy to oblige promptly in my experience.
(7) Asked for the boulders and gate to be put in situ to protect the site from illegal gypsey camps.

I'm sure any future LibDem Focus won't get all carried away by a single instance of a telephone call to Street Scene about glass in the play area, and will want to credit Labour for its investment and hard work on this and other issues!

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Obviously Cllr Wally’s annoyed with you Mike, non of his usual “ahem” or use of the royal “we” just good old fashioned spinning of the facts and self congratulations for boulder etc placed by others (isn’t that the kind of thing he slag’s you guys off for when having a pop at your news letter?). He does however manage his staple Hmm in his response so hes not totally beaten.......yet.

Odd isn’t it that despite being a Cllr since 1991 his achievements over 18 years amounts to 7 things, by my maths that’s 0.38 things he does a year no wonder he’s so worried about you and the Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

Sorry all my maths isnt very good! That figure of 0.38 should be divided by two (after all its a two Cllr ward so its not just Cllr Wally doing nothing.)

So I guess the real reflection on work carried out is actually 0.19 pieces of case work a year by Wally, jeez no wonder he spends so much time blogging I mean its not like he's busy is it!

Mike Barker said...

Hmmm. Bit harsh, anonymous!

I would, howver, like to respond to some of the points Nick has made:

Point 2: it's a pity the rest of the field wasn't supplied with adequate drainage at the same time. It is often under water in winter. Indeed, local kids have to decide whether to bring their football boots or their fishing rods on some days.

Point 3: yet we still have the play area used for drinking and general bad behaviour which resulted recently in it being unusable for most of the weekend. It's not much good having CCTV if the police can't respond: especially now this Council has abolished the ASB warden service.

Point 4: pity it wasn't installed earlier, at the same time as the path from Whinfield Park was constructed.

Point 7: The reason the gypsies went on there was that the old rotten iron railings on the Whinfield Road/Salter's Lane side, which were leaning over, were removed, leaving the park wide open to incursion. I understand residents asked for some fencing to be erected at the time when the railings were removed. I believe the cost of that would have been£10,000. I understand the boulders cost somewhat more.

Points 1, 5 & 6: fair enough.

Anonymous said...

I live by the side of ASDA and have friends who live in Whinfield. They are all saying that the Labour Party's newspaper put out in the ward is a carbon copy of the Liberal Democrats Focus word for word and they aint going to vote Labour any more.