A blog by Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper about Kirklees Council and our activity to improve the local and global environment (and also anything that I fancy talking about)
Saturday, 17 September 2011
Time is reversing. The signs are everywhere.
Back in 2000. Eleven years ago the Green Group on Kirklees cut our first budget deal. We thought it was crazy that Planning Notices were anonymous bits of paper sellotaped to lamp posts. They could easily be missed by people and the implications could be a lack of objections to controversial applications . Decisions could be passed without comment leading to anything from an unsympathetic development on someones street to 'heaven preserve us' a wind turbine in a field. In 2000 we stopped that following our budget deal with Labour. Planning Notices were to be put on bright yellow corex boards saying 'PLANNING NOTICE' on them. Now quietly, without approval, this policy has been dropped. In Kirkburton today I saw this anonymous piece of paper on a lamp post, clinging on for dear life hoping a gust of wind didn't tear it away from the moorings provided for it. It was a relatively cheap policy but in these times of spending cuts (when bankers have been given 8 years to seperate their gambling and banking divisions) we have to make, penny pinching, but real cuts in small things which make society better, which inform people about things that affect their lives on a day to day basis.
Going back to the future here's what it used to be like. Here we see Kirkburton Greens Derek Hardcastle and Michelle Atkinson next to the old style Planning Noticeboard which stands out and won't be overlooked. OK this cut is not the same as the slashing of Housing Benefit, the clamp down on disability allowances. It is not as infuriating as the Tories, seriously, unbelievably and perversely considering cutting the 50% tax rate for the rich. It is however another nail in the coffin of progress and Labour have implemented it on the Council in response to teh Coalition Government cuts agenda. Is there anything worse than when politicians decide things go backwards in a society.
A rubbish decision lacking transparency forced on the Council by a rubbish government with a lousy sense of priorities who are kept in power by the Liberal Democrats. There is not nearly enough anger at the moment about this government.