News letter June 2011

Another busy, but fulfilling month. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– Attended a meeting of Dunton pre-School and Dunton village Hall committee after residents raised concerns the Pre-School might have to find a new site. They WILL now continue to be able to use the village hall.

– Attended a meeting at Chicksands with a couple from Potton who were very concerned about a proposed development overlooking their property. I made sure Central Beds realised quite what the implications for the development would be. The planning application has now been WITHDRAWN.

– Helped a resident of King Street, Potton, who had received short shrift from Central Beds over waste collection.

– Asked questions at Central Beds on behalf of a Potton-owned firm wishing to relocate to this ward.

– Asked questions on behalf of Party On! Potton as to why they are charged £150 to close Bury Hill, Potton, for the annual Soap Box Derby. I discovered it only costs £85 for Central Beds to advertise the road closure in the paper. I have requested they provide an explanation for the excessive administration charge.

– Requested that cycle paths between Potton and Biggleswade and Potton and Sandy be reconsidered at the earliest possible juncture.

– Fulfilled a pre-election pledge in holding open meetings in Dunton, Wrestlingworth, Everton, Sutton and Tempsford and Potton.

– Enquired on behalf of Potton Town Council whether Central Beds can provide details of when traffic wardens have visited the town.

STOP PRESS…STOP PRESS… STOP PRESS…STOP PRESS… STOP PRESS…

Schools
While I congratulate all those concerned with saving Gamlingay Village College, I have written to the Director of Childrens’ Services at Central Beds, Edwina Grant, expressing concern over the effect its federation with Stratton secondary school, Biggleswade, may have on local education. Of particular concern is whether parents who may have been inclined to send their children to Burgoyne Middle School, Potton, may now send them to GVC as they feel they would stand a better consequent chance of getting into Stratton. Also, I would like clarification on where this leaves Bedfordshire pupils in terms of getting into Stratton now a large number of places are guaranteed to Cambridgeshire pupils.

A1 Relief Road

Many people have expressed concern at a Conservative election leaflet, issued by Cllr Doreen Gurney, which stated she supported an A1 Relief Road.
Cllr Gurney came along to Potton Town Council in June to explain more. She said she and a “group of Conservatives” were working on plans for a new road to leave the A1 at Baldock and head north. Cllr Gurney told us she could not say which part of the countryside would be affected by this road but said we’d all find out more in due course and that she expected the public reaction to be favourable.
I spoke to Central Beds about it and the Head of Transport Strategy and Countryside Services tells me that rumours of such a road are “completely unfounded”!

‘Secret’ meetings?
At the June Central Beds SCOS (Sustainable Communities Overview & Scrutiny) committee meeting, despite vocal opposition from Independent councillors, it was decided to allow some meetings to be conducted with the press and public excluded. Remarkably, these committees will be able to report directly to Executive. I have written to the leader of the council expressing my concern.

Audit Committee
At the June Audit Committee meeting, I put forward a motion asking that the meetings – currently held at 9am on weekdays – occasionally be held in the evenings so that those who work full-time, or who look after children, could attend. The motion was not passed as none of the other (Conservative) councillors would support it. I was told that things had always been this way and that I must have known what time the meetings were before I became a councillor. It was also made clear to me that the ‘public would not attend in any greater numbers if the meetings were held in the evening’.

Parking
In a plot straight from a Kafka novel, I can tell you there will be a Central Beds-wide parking strategy consultation starting at the end of July but although I now know, I am not allowed to tell you what the parameters will be until nearer the time. I am told that as soon as I can say I will be informed.

FOLLOW-UPS…FOLLOW-UPS… FOLLOW-UPS…FOLLOW-UPS…FOLLOW-UPS…

Music Service

I have been continuing to ask questions of Central Beds over what is going on with the music service. Things are progressing though; there will be lower prices from September and there will be more dialogue with teachers this week.

Libraries
Please go to Potton Library and fill in the questionnaire. The more people who do it, the harder it will be for Central Beds to say the library isn’t needed. They are open Monday 2-6pm, Wednesday 2-6pm, Friday 10-1pm,2-6pm, Saturday 10-1pm.

Public inspection
As of 18th July, and for the next 20 days, the public have the right to inspect the books of Central Beds Council. The council are obliged to do this so if you want to check their accounts, take the opportunity. Best to ring in advance 0300 300 8000.

If you would like to receive this information as an email, please send me an email to adamzerny@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll add you to the distribution list. It’s really helpful for me to get an idea of numbers!

If you do know ANYONE who would want to know about any of the issues mentioned above, please forward this on to them!

Keep in contact:
email: adamzerny@hotmail.co.uk
twitter: @adamzerny

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About adamzerny

Central Bedfordshire Councillor and Potton Town Councillor
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