Monday, June 1, 2009

Bower's Blueprint #4 - A Conservative voice on the county council

This is the fourth of a series of posts on Bower's Blueprint for Coleridge - a set of pledges to which I would work if elected as county councillor on 4th June.

A Conservative voice on the county council
I want the county council to continue the good work as the fastest improving county council in the country but to give city residents a voice at the heart of county decision making.

The county council has a good reputation for efficiency, especially, so I understand, compared with the days when it was under no overall control. Even opposition councillors from both parties have praised the county council for its record on transport and the quality of scrutiny.

However, no Conservatives have been elected to the county council from within the city boundaries since 1993 (Trumpington) and from within the city constituency since 1989. The seats won in 1989 were: Castle, East Chesterton, Queen Edith's, Trumpington, West Chesterton. (Trumpington is moving into the Cambridge constituency at the next general election).

This inevitably means that important perspectives are lacking within the ruling Conservative group. City residents often seem to get a raw deal, but with loony ideas coming from Lib Dem councillors elected from the city such as asking for congestion charging and development on Marshall's it's no wonder!

Similarly, Labour councillors here have been unable to use influence with the government to get proper funding for concessionary bus fares or free swimming (both eye-catching government initiatives with questionable funding), to remove the congestion charging blackmail for vital transport funding or to curtail the ridiculous housing targets.

Conservative county councillors from the city are desperately needed to represent city residents - councillors from the other parties are simply not getting results in these really important areas.

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