Whilst the national political scene has been in turmoil since the referendum life as a ward councillor continues as ever. I am pleased to report that most of the pot holes I reported to council last month have been repaired and the grass verges have been cut. Even the worst of the poorly maintained footpaths has been dealt with but not sure it’s an improvement. Trees and damaged fences have now been added to the list of local issues I am currently dealing with.
The Council’s consultation on housing needs and the Poole Local Plan is well underway. Officers held an information session in Broadstone Library on Wednesday 6th July which was very well attended. Approaching 150 residents came to ask questions and find out more about the housing proposals for Broadstone. I spent almost 3 hours talking with residents most of whom were opposed to the idea of houses above the Story Lane car park but saw the potential that a multi-storey car park in Station Approach could offer. It was disappointing that the Council had not discussed any ideas with Broadstone Neighbourhood Forum before publishing their consultation documents. It is so important that residents are given the opportunity to have an input into any proposals from the very beginning rather than being kept out of the loop. The consultation continues until 8th August so I would urge everyone to have a say before it is too late: http://www.poole.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/ldp/local-plan-review/
Local Authority devolution and the prospect of a merger with other councils continues to cause concern. Poole is the only Local Authority that has not yet given all councillors the chance to have either a briefing or a debate. My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have been challenging the administration over the lack of information for some time. What I have finally ascertained is that the options now being considered are significantly different from earlier proposals with the result that more work has to be done building a business case. It is beginning to look as though any recommendation from Council may be too late for any meaningful public consultation. The majority of residents who have spoken to me about the issue are not in favour of a merger, and with the change in Government leadership the whole process of devolution could be “off the table”. Even an hour is a long time in politics at the moment so I am not placing any bets on the eventual outcome for this issue.
Finally, by the time you read this article, the main work on Gravel Hill will have started. The main diversion is through the centre of Broadstone so I would expect significant increased congestion and delays. My only hope is that this does not impact negatively on Broadstone’s businesses, especially our post office which will be operating from its temporary building. I was privileged to be given a sneak preview shortly after its arrival. It looks really good so please make sure you use it – we don’t want to lose it.
My next surgery is on Saturday September 10th in Broadstone Library from 10.00 until 12.00
Cllr. Mike Brooke
Usual contact details