The Politics Page
Anything to Say This Week?
Got something to say this week, say it with a comment and get it on record.
Derwentside will have an interesting time over coming weeks trying to get back our £7 milliion (that's right, seven million) from the icelanders (who, some of you might remember from the Cod War-days of 1969/1970) are quite prepared to take on team GB when they think their nation is under threat! And guess what, it is....don't hold your breath waiting for any early resolution. We might reasonably expect central government to treat the public sector the same as the private, banking sector but will they? I'm guessing they will but not without a lot of huffing and puffing. There's a promise that community charges will not be affected. Come on, pull the other one. Tax is tax is tax, direct or indirect and, if not from local taxpayers, who else from. One way or another, you're not likely to see the private sector bearing these losses.
And on a lesser but to me just as important an issue, some of you might have noticed that we had intended to help put in the 2nd of our "Entrance Features" up here in Leadgate weekend before last. Not many will be surprised to note that it didn't happen, nor is it now likely to given the latest planning objection. This time, by Durham County Council (and I had to say, I thought they were on our side). Reportedly, a "change of policy" now means that features such as this are not to be approved when they constitute a distraction, as this one could conceivably be, een though 31 metres away from the nearest road. As we said earlier, you'd have to be trying really hard to veer off the road and hit it or pretty stupid to so distracted as to take your eyes of the road. Come on folks, can you not see the damage such nonsense does to communities trying ever so hard to sort themselves out. And whether we like it or not, watch our for more of the same when local governance moves even further away from the communities on 1 May 09. It seems to me common sense, local government and communities don't always go hand in hand. Anybody doing anything about this or got anything to say?
PS. If you want to see some of the background, look elsewhere on the website...or send a forum message to ask open questions
Get Involved With County Durham's New Council?
LGR Programme Office, not sure what that is but it's part of the Chf Exec's office at County Hall, have sent us the programme for "Local Community Arrangements in the New Council for County Durham Community and Stakeholder Events". It covers the whole of co Durham but the parts that affect us and closest to home concern you and me and here and now. This is a part of "consultation" around "strong local arranagements, referred to as Area Action Partnerships. Really? I thought we were trying to do this through ours and many similar networks in our own small way by actualy getting past the words and trying to involve everyone, not just those that fit into rooms and offices.
Sounds a lot to me like a bit of tweaking and another try at bringing the local area partnerships into focus to work better together. That might work but has it yet and why pass over a golden opportunity to build on what's been done alreadywithout reinventing the wheel?. Isn't it time we started trying to work a bit differently to get different results instead of more of the same? And as for consultation, is anyone listening to those that usually can't make the time in an already busy life to get along to meetings. Seems to me this is the big issue and what our network at least is trying to do.
How about we actually try to "work towards a new era for local government" - the logo on the circular - and try to find out more, sharing what we do (find out) with your voice as a comment on our website. Let's see if that counts for anymore than DDC's poll and what most thought of the governments proposals for unitary arrangements - the new co Durham CC to you and me and how much good it did.
More to it than that of course and more at www.durham.gov.uk/newera or at the meetings. But don's miss the small print and share what you find out. Only 100 places per event and note also if not able to say which organisation you represent, use our name and say you belong to the Pont Valley network - you're entitled to your say whether you're on a committee or not. We'll have more than one or two there with other hats on and will, as always, tell you what we find out.
27th August @ 5.00 p.m. Stanley Area Event @ Lamplight Arts Centre. Book a place with email@example.com or telephone 01207 218271 by 22nd August.
28th August @ 6.00 p.m, Consett Area Event @ St Patrick's Church Hall. Book a place same contact, Janie Pollard, by 25th August.
Registration is from 30 minutes before and events finish 2 hours later. Tea/coffee available on arrival.
Congratulations to our First Unitary Authority Representatives
Doesn't have much of a ring to it does it? But now we've got our first "good men and true" to speak for us in the new Unitary Authority, maybe it's time to commit another cardinal sin as we did earlier by talking about religeon. Politics are too important to be left to politicians and it's too easy to blame others when things go wrong. That's why we've launched this new page.
But first, congratulations to those that won and comisserations to those that didn't. Now we've got a busy year ahead to make sure we don't reinvent the wheel while Durham folks rediscover what Derwentside has to offer. It's time to do things just a bit differently.
One of the biggest challenges facing us is to get us all on this new page and keeping our voices. That's where, we sincerely hope and believe the Pont Valley Network is taking us, not by talking separate issues, but by giving everyone a voice to use freely, openly and honestly about anything and everything "PontValley" related, so we can see and say where things might be going wrong and speaking out because what we see and say might make a difference.
If we're going to make Derwentside the place we keep saying it could be, we need to get past the words and really start working together, not just saying what a difference we could make if we did! Or maybe believing we're already good team players.
Got something to say, politely and with mutual respect for those at least trying, say it here! Good or bad, say what you believe and find out how much we all might share if once we get past the gossip and rumour and start dealing in recorded facts.
Politics or Politics?
We had our first comment raising a fair point about. It was posted on another page and had to be transferred to this one by me. But welcome none the less and worth thinking about.
The same point made by the contributor had crossed my own mind more than once and I've thought about it a lot. What was said?:
well - the elctions are over and I just wonder how many people actually thought about politics when they voted (or not as the case may be.)
There was a surge amoingst so called independents who claim that they are not political, they have a group and a leader, no doubt it will be a leader who leads Derwentside (soon to be abolished) and Durham Unitary Independents - seems somewhat odd for people who are not political, representing others in a democracy established by politicians. So should we just be asking - which people did they put before politics? Themselves must be the answer, given that they claim not to be political. They can't have it both ways.
To me as the moderator, this gets to the heart of our present 'p'olitical difficulties. We all want out own voice but that of course is not possible. We have no real choice but to have some speaking for us. It just seems to me that the estblished 'P'olitical parties have have failed to keep up with the times and stay close to the people.
Thanks for the comment.....
Created on 04/05/2008 07:16 PM by dshields
Updated on 11/10/2008 06:11 PM by dshields