Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Servants not Masters

Councillors and council workers should be the servants of the people; however all too often they behave as if they are "lords and masters" telling off people for daring to question anything. It's a great privilege to serve the people of West Teignmouth, I never forget it is your services and your taxes. We shouldn't be buying painting for Bitton House whilst folk are waiting for replacement bus shelters. Whereas councillors are inevitably political, council officers have to be scrupulously apolitical. Evens at Tuesday’s town council meeting have caused some serious concerns. The town clerk has briefed some town councillors about bus shelter replacement – unfortunately they were all Conservative councillors, thereby giving them an advantage. By incredible coincidence the clerk (himself a former Conservative councillor) was completely unable to contact any of the Liberal Democrat or Independent councillors; aparantly it couldn't be done by phone, e-mail or carrier pigeon. It doesn’t look very good for impartiality.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bus Shelter Battle

If anything symbolises how out of touch the town council is with ordinary people, it is the saga of the bus shelter at Kingsway. As one resident pointed out, wheelie bins are better looked after than people, contrasting the well built bin storage sheds with the almost derelict bus shelter. Despite my motion to the council requiring replacement of the bus shelter, being democratically agreed; get
ting the town council to actually do it has taken nearly two years. With excuses every time I asked when would it be done; surprisingly my mention of this on Radio Devon and KRA’s protest featured on today’s front page of the Teignmouth Post seems to have had the desired effect. Supposedly the new shelter will be in before January 2013; however local residents and I won’t believe until I see it! Bet the Conservatives try to claim credit, for the council finally doing what it should have all along.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Diggers in the Fields

The good news is the diggers in the fields around Sheppard’s Lane are part of an archaeological dig, not building houses. The bad news is this is part of the preparation for a planning application to build houses! Concerned residents contacted me when they saw the heavy plant and men in hard hats roaming the land near Shepherd’s Lane, on the boundary with Bishopsteignton, last weekend.Cotswold Archaeology is quite candid about what they do: “We work closely with developers and contractors to ensure efficient programming of attendance to reduce costs and avoid delays to construction programmes.” They are about helping developers deal with the archaeology requirements of a planning application. Proposals to construct hundreds of new homes in the area were rejected in 'Plan Teignbridge' district plan, thanks to the many people who made their views known to Teignbridge. The area is designated "Undeveloped Coast" a similar designation to "Coastal Preservation Area"; however because the council voted for a higher number of houses (on the chairman's casting vote) there is always the danger a developer will use 'housing need to overcome the Undeveloped Coast designation. A plan to build over 300 houses on designated countryside in Dawlish comes to the planning committee on the 26th November. It will be an interesting test case. In the meantime, as I have reported elsewhere, a developer has put in a ‘scoping’ application to Teignbridge planners, which is a precursor to a planning application. I suspect the developer will submit a planning application early next year.

Children in Need

Supporting the Spar staff's Children in Need cake sale.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Diggers in the Fields

Cotswold Archaeology are currently carrying out a field survey -digging of exploratory trenches on the site. I expect the developer will be putting in a planning application in early 2013, I'm going through all the paperwork from the scoping option.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Pure Lunacy!

The town council has spent £3,000+ on a Thomas Luny picture of Teignmouth. Whilst councillors rejected the idea of the council buying the picture we did agreed to help the Museum buy it – but last night we discovered the council has bought it! Yet the town council somehow just can't replace a bus shelter on Kingsway. We need to sort the council out.