Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Babs, Gary, and the Age of Stupid

Barbara Janke was an onlooker at Wednesday's scrutiny commissions meeting where her councillor underlings spent over five hours going over the plans to sell off green spaces, all across the city.

Who knows whether she'd managed to read the 400-page plus documentation, let alone the public statements, but she did hear very clear reports of a flawed consultation, mislaid papers and petitions, expert advice disregarded, Freedom of Information requests unfulfilled, all of it showing that the 'consultation report' is founded on unreliable envidence. Probably the inevitable result of asking a heavily cut-back department to deliver and assess a huge consultation and review of the city's open spaces, way beyond its own resources.

The five hour session was enough to persuade the councillors that a hasty decision to sell the land on such dodgy grounds would be unwise; far better to give it just a bit more time to make sure we get it right. After all, these are final decisions, there's no going back, and there's no rush. So that's what they recommended to the LibDem Cabinet.

The Scrutiny Commissions' appeal was echoed by many others, including even the independent Parks Forum which had until now been 100% behind the sell-off plan (and is being vilified by the Evening Post for it). Add to that the pleas of more councillors, groups like our own Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces and the Neighbourhood Partnership, residents groups and individuals.

To defer a decision on the sales seemed obvious..... Everything to gain, to make sure the eventual decisions are well founded, sustainable, and in keeping with sensible city planning. Anything else would be stupid.

A pity the Cabinet was unanimous in rejecting their advice, and chose the stupid option instead.

Something to do with false pride, the pleasure of exercising power........ or even, possibly, just being stupid?


Anonymous said...

The parks forum is not exactly independent. Its chair, Hugh Holden, is a long standing supporter of the liberal democrats who actively canvasses for them during elections and is close friends with liberal democratic councillors. He is self appointed with no community democratic mandate.

Stockwood Pete said...

All the more surprising, then, that the Parks Forum was there with the rest, calling for a decision to be deferred.

I appreciate that no organisation is wholly independent, and the Parks Forum committee leans toward the better organised parks groups around the centre. Even so, Fraser Bridgeford represented the forum at the Scrutiny meeting, and others will have agreed the Statement that followed.

I don't think you can call it a LibDem 'front' organisation, any more than you could call our local group, FoSOS, a 'green' front just because I've been a key player in its formation.

Witchfinder said...

Oh really, Pete?

But aren't you one of that cabal of "invisible green men" that we've heard about?

Stockwood Pete said...

No, not me. I'm not even named and shamed in Richard Lane's 'green conspiracy' letter in the BEP today. How embarrassing is that?

Anonymous said...

What is particularly funny about Richard Lane's post is that not one of the people he names are involved in Ashton Vale.

The other funny point is that he is pretending to be from Ashton Vale when he lives in Knowle. But he is part of the conspiracy of BCFC fans who are supporting the building f hypermarkets and destruction of green belt where it suits them.


Anonymous said...

As the regards the Bristol Parks Forum the committee is largely made up of Town Green activists. I would not worry too much about whose side they are on.


Witchfinder said...

He’s great, Richard Lane! Incoherent with rage in places, he also seems to have a low opinion of other people’s ability to think for themselves, doesn’t he?

Just looked at the Wikipedia entry for Ashton Gate Stadium and, despite the fact that it was supposedly “updated” today it still says:

“On 29 November 2007, after 100 years at Ashton Gate, it was announced that Bristol City are planning to move to a new stadium not far from 'The Gate'.[1] This move is now set to go ahead and planning is under action. After conducting a comprehensive fans survey, a preliminary design has been drawn up of a 30,000 capacity stadium with the option to increase to 42,000 (should England be successful in the 2018 World Cup bid or Bristol City require the expansion themselves). Planning permission is expected to be complete by May 2009 with the stadium having a forecast completion for the start of the 2011/12 season.[2][3] The design for the new stadium has been hit with some criticism from fans however, mainly from the 'Eastenders' group, who believe the stadium should incorporate a home end or Kop style stand to make the ground intimidating for visiting teams.” Nice.

Not exactly moving with the times are they? A bit like the guys in this video ranting about some "Green Dragon" they reckon they can see.