Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Barkingside is the Key

But first a quick review of last Saturday’s meeting with our MP, Lee Scott.

Straw poll on the Government’s Planning White paper – unanimous No Thank You. Straw poll on Lee’s proposals for a license system to control the mix of retail outlets in high streets – Yes Please, bar one. However, he only preferred “eateries” to boarded up shops, but Lee covered this.

Cllr Mrs V Cole proposed two new environmental taxes.
1. Takeaways should pay a premium on their license to cover the costs of dealing with the litter they produce [pointing out that business rates are no longer paid direct to the local authority and this should be re-instated].
2. Those who build “bungalows” in their back gardens should pay a premium on their Council Tax [bemoaning the government’s pull out on revaluation].

Cllr Corfield explained some of the anomalies, eg when the council refuse an application on expert officers advice only for it to be overturned on appeal by other officers expert advice and incurring a fine and costs into the bargain. Eh? Cleary there is something amiss here and changes are required but not what is currently on offer. Cllr Mrs V Cole also pointed out that in Planning, the objector has no right of appeal.

Straw poll on a referendum on the EU treaty - Yes please bar one. He wanted a vote on leaving completely.

Lee also mentioned that Ilford North [Greater Barking Side with a bit of Woodford Bridge thrown in] was to be a feature in the Sunday Telegraph as “the” key marginal should Willy Wonty go to the country [as calling an election is affectionately known]. In the end they did not feature any of Lee’s interview possibly because it did not fit with their anti-Cameron stance? But there was a letter scroll down to battle for Ilford.

The Goldsmith/Gummer report on Quality of Life [over 500 pages and welcomed by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF etc – even the Composting Association has given it the thumbs up] is currently on David’s desk and we should know this week [conference] how much of that will be in their manifesto.

Meanwhile Gordon is busily trying to consolidate all Labour’s loans into one easy repayment package with Ocean Finance [advertised by Carol Vordeman on channel 13].
Isn’t it nice to see the architect of debt foisted by his own petard?


  1. Or even 'hoist (already past tense) by his own petard'.

    Sorry, notice these things, having an O-level in woodwork.

  2. Cllr V Cole wanted two more environmental taxes , I would like another.
    For front gardens that are completely paved over.That money can go into a Flood fund.
    Ron King

  3. I was sorry not to be able to get to the meeting. Ron raises a very serious point that I would like to take further.

    Turning a front garden into a car park represents in my view a material change of use and ought therefore to require the full rigour of planning consent. That consent should be given only where the design makes adequate provision for drainage and also for retaining a reasonably landscaped appearance. If the deign fails to provide for either or both, then refusal should follow. There should also be a clearly specified limit on the proportion of a front garden that can be concreted over, whatever the use of the premises (single family home, conversion to bed-sits, and the like) - say, not more than 50% of the front garden area.

  4. I agree Morris. For semi-detached properties with a garage and a large front garden. But we would need to accommodate terraced houses where the front garden is about the size of an average saloon car or smaller [motor bikes].

  5. Judith,
    For my woodwork O-level practical I did a stopped, haunched, mitred mortise and tennon. What did you do?

  6. B21 we have to be quite rigorous about this. Insufficient front garden, then no car park!

    As to your woodwork achievement, I think I have seen some of those standing for election - and even a few succeeding.........

  7. Slept with the examiner.

    Got Grade A.

    Works every time.

  8. So you were not quite top notch then, Judith, if you did not get A*.

  9. Didn't want to brag.