Can we believe what the council leader says?
PUBLISHED: 11:33 12 May 2006 | UPDATED: 21:52 28 May 2010
STRONG words from Councillor Geoff Harper to his critics: Either put up or shut up, if not get out of the Conservative group. Has the Yorkshire man lost the plot? We Fenlanders do not want a council full of yes Geoff s . We want people to speak up for
STRONG words from Councillor Geoff Harper to his critics: "Either put up or shut up, if not get out of the Conservative group."
Has the Yorkshire man lost the plot? We Fenlanders' do not want a council full of 'yes Geoff's'. We want people to speak up for us. That is the reason for electing them.
When asked what is the most significant change that Fenland Council has made for the benefit of the districts people? The leader replied: "Improved management structure to deliver better quality services, saving £208,000 this year and in future years; giving cleaner streets open spaces and access to services."
He claims his frustration is that the Government leaves the council holding the baby, forcing it to cut non-essential and non-statutory services like tourism and public toilets.
Maybe that could be due to Fenland Council not submitting correct population figures when indenting via the county council for Government funding.
In late 2005 Cllr Harper claims a Fenland population of 83,500. It was 83,700 in mid 2001, and 86,600 in mid 2004. The projected growth rate would give Fenland a population of 91,000 in mid 2007. How can he misplace six or seven thousand people?
We read so much about the multi-million-pound Nene Waterfront project at Wisbech. Fenland Council claims it will bring a massive increase of tourists to Fenland. The proposed closing of public toilets will not encourage tourism, also going against two community first strategic aims; community facilities and easy access for the elderly?
Speaking of the elderly, every elderly group around was given the chance to enter teams in the Golden Age Championships. This they did in abundance. These senior citizens made provisions in their diaries to attend, the date came and went, and the elderly were disappointed because it was put on the back burner for a number of silly reasons. Why build up the hope of the elderly, only to knock them down again?
We occasionally read that Fenland Council is not concerned about the decline of Fenland's health facilities, and the 2003 and 2004 visions for Fenland included a mention for improved health care for the people. That is strange, we have not seen council representatives at any health meetings for three years, which is possibly why Councillor Harper states "We are not aware of any plans to demolish the North Cambs Hospital." Can we believe that? I remember on May 12 2004 Cllr Harper told us the Fenland Eye Magazine came at no cost to the taxpayers. A year later we found it cost us £21,925.07. This news was not gossip or an internal leak. It came through the Freedom of Information Act.
We still await the cost of increasing the cabinet from seven to 10 members. We were told it would not come at any extra cost; the cake would be cut accordingly. I would like to see the figures officially rather than by a leaked document.