Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Politics, Pacts, and Pothole Pointers

In the May elections for a Stockwood councillor, I was trounced by all three other parties - particularly disappointing as I'd been runner up the time before. I put it down to the country's obsession with the Leadership Debates (remember them?) and the fleeting epidemic of Cleggmania.

In Michael Goulden, the LibDems had a local candidate this time, and I'm glad to see that he's now blogging too. If only our councillors did the same. I suggested that we exchange links ("you show mine and I'll show yours") but he declined. Proper politicians don't do that sort of thing. But just this once, I'll provide the link anyway.

Michael must have been encouraged by his vote in May, because he's evidently been to the LibDem Focus Academy, and successfully completed their foundation 'Pointing at Potholes' module. It's been the launchpad for many a successful political career.

The chosen pothole is a Co-op pothole, so Michael's clearly stolen a march on Labour to claim it as his own. Anyway, it's in the run-down area behind the Hollway Road shops, and he assures us that "The Lib Dems are acting on this appalling, dangerous, unsightly mess"

On the afternoon of Monday 16th August, this appalling, dangerous, unsightly mess is due to be cleaned up by a team from Community Payback. It's prompted by the Stockwood Neighbourhood Forum (previously PACT), where residents prioritised the shopping centre for urgent attention.

Question is, which party will claim the credit?

The Neighbourhood Forum itself meets on August 12 at the Christ the Servant Church, to hear what's been done so far and to look at future priorities.


woodsy said...

Well done Michael Goulden! A classic Glum Councillors blog pose.

The Bristol Blogger said...

Well done Pete, you've unearthed a hidden gem here.

I particularly liked "Michael at the old Craydon Road toilet block" demanding the immediate resiting of the disabled toilet.

This boy has what it takes to go far in local politics.

Stockwood Pete said...

I'd better be careful when there's a camera around!

Truth is, Michael's not the only one... the Conservative leaflet at the last council elections was much the same thing, a string of photos at the 'issue' sites, whether or not there was any credit to be claimed.

Did Charlie ever make it onto the 'Glum Councillors' blog? He should probably have tried harder.

Paul/Bemmy Down said...

So I turn-up at my local Neighbourhood Forum, bringing with me a gang of my neighbours. We decide by weight of numbers what should be the priority, something that suites us,if nobody else, and this is adopted. Have I got that right? It sounds like a strange form of democracy to me.

Stockwood Pete said...

That's pretty much the way it works, Paul, at least here in Stockwood.

Isn't that the way most organisations work, though... the decisions depend on who's qualified, available, and driven enough to attend the meetings?

Eventually I'm sure there'll be some way of voting on-line, given that there are probably more people can do that than can get to any particular meeting - but that's far from perfect too.

Paul/Bemmy Down said...

Hi Pete. I was quite surprised when I attended our local meeting. There is nothing wrong with canvassing local opinion as long as the events are well enough publicised to give everyone in the area the opportunity to go along and have their say. Sadly that is not the case so you end up with mainly the same people at each meeting. Thats not to say these arn't doing their best for our area, I'm sure they are, but it's not democracy and any final decision should always rest with someone who has been elected. A councillor. I,m not adverse to offering my opinion, but as nobody has elected me, thats all it should ever be, my opinion! Neighbourhood Partnerships suffer the same lack of public awareness and even with councillor participation, they can hardly be called democratic.