At the full council on November 16th, the Conservative group will " CALL ON THE LEADER AND CABINET TO SCRAP THE AREA GREEN SPACE PLANS". That's the ones that they, along with Labour and LibDems, supported just a couple of years ago!
Could there be an explanation for these dramatic contortions?
It CAN'T be on principle...
After all, this is the ideologically driven party that plans to sell off Britains' publicly owned (and profitable) forests to private speculators and investors - with the extra bonus of being inheritance tax free! (Petition against it here)
This is the party whose local councillors are backing tax-exile Lansdown's bid to build a stadium on the Ashton Vale green belt, trampling on the lawful rights of local people.
So, if it ain't principle, could it be - dare I say - electoral opportunism?
Next May will see more than one Tory councillor having to explain to angry voters why they backed a strategy to sell off much loved local parks and open spaces in their wards. In Bishopsworth, for instance, where Kings Head Park is under threat. In Frome Vale, with where six sites have been identified for sale. And here in Stockwood, where several open spaces could be lost to the community for ever, and Cllrs Jethwa and Morris have been desperately distancing themselves from any responsibility for it.
But it's not just about hanging on to these seats - there might be new opportunities for electoral gain. Brislington East and West, Hartcliffe, Hengrove, Hillfields, and St George East are all threatened by a loss of open space, and in all of them the Tories might expect to benefit, if they play their cards right.
Call me a cynic........
Anyway, the Tory motion submitted for the next full council meeting is:
COUNCILLOR M WESTON TO MOVE
THIS COUNCIL CALLS ON THE LEADER AND CABINET TO SCRAP THE AREA GREEN SPACE PLANS
Public consultation has shown that the planned sell-off of parkland and valued leisure land, identified in the ideas and options proposals, is a step too far and that community open space is not for sale.
The original Parks and Green Spaces Strategy was meant to dispose of
land of low value, poor quality plots or areas that attract anti-social behaviour. Instead, the developed plans have earmarked well-used and highly valued recreational space.
Alternative funding sources must be sought for investment in our
Which just happens to have been the Green Party position for the last three years. Welcome on board.
[Note: Petition against forest sales]
[This post comes with a self-interest declaration - as a likely Stockwood candidate next May]