The ‘No to traffic lights’ petition has now gained almost 3,000 signatures and sends a strong message to Poole Council. I voted against the proposal at Full Council just before Christmas but the Conservative Administration voted to support the scheme in principle. Since then I have had two meetings with the Head of Transportation Services who has agreed that alternative schemes, not involving traffic lights, will be developed and that no decisions will be made before March when all options will be considered.
February’s Full Council meeting will determine Poole’s Council Tax for the next financial year. It is certain there will be an increase and this is likely to be in the region of 4%: the 2% allowed by Government plus an extra 2% for adult social care, as set out in George Osborne’s Spending Review. The Police and Fire precepts will be additional to these increases. Later in the year black bin waste collections will become fortnightly. The mobile library service to those parts of Poole without a permanent library has already been cut. December’s council meeting saw the Leader increase the Cabinet membership by one and yet more decisions being delegated to officers. Area Committees were axed and with them the loss of local decision making opportunities.
The latest round of oil and gas licenses includes the whole of Broadstone and are available to companies involved in fracking. A motion I submitted to council a short time ago opposing fracking in Poole was voted down by the Administration. With the Government giving the go-ahead to fracking under National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty fracking in the Broadstone area could now become a real possibility. It is an emotive issue but there is growing evidence that the fracking process leads to an increase in earthquakes as well as causing significant environmental damage.
Cllr Mike Brooke – Tel: