Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Councillor Graham Simpson – 2011 Annual Report to Newsome Residents

Councillor Graham Simpson – Annual Report 2011

I have had a period of illness this year and so have not been as active as I would have liked but I’m pleased to say I’m on the mend. Despite this I have still got a number of things to report back on in from the past year.

I spoke out at the Kirklees Council Budget meeting this year against the cuts which were being imposed on us by central government. I and my Green Party colleagues are opposed to the reductions in budgets and services for elderly and disabled people. Green Councillors engaged fully with the budget process to understand in detail what the implicatoions of the cuts were and what, if any room for manoeuvre there was and in truth there was very little. What disappointed me was real cuts in provision being presented by the Labour Party as ‘improvements’. We should be straight with people about the impact of decisions we make even if they are unpopular.

I was actively involved in the protest on the land between New Laithe Hill and High Lane earlier this year. It was great to see so many people turn out and the photograph of the crowd there has been used on a number of times in the Examiner highlighting our opposition. The land is used regularly by walkers,especially dog walkers & children as recreation area's If this land and the land adjacent to Jackroyd Lane and Newsome Road was developed Newsome would lose its individual identity and become an extension of the town centre.

I also spoke out at the scrutiny enquiry into the future management of council housing in Kirklees. I thought that the proposals to include non housing services in the new contract needed more work to see if they would benefit tenants and also that there had not been enough information or consultation with tenants on how the new proposals would affect them. I am pleased that this matter was then referred back to Cabinet and it has now been agreed that the management contract will continue on the existing terms until more information has been provided to tenants and that tenants and there representatives will be fully consulted to see if they agree with any proposed changes before they are implemented.

My main activity this year as a Councillor has been to take up local issues and concerns. Here are just some examples

• I asked Kirklees Highways to address an issue on Colne Street, Aspley by the carpet warehouse and the Flyboat Pub where the road surface was worn down to the cobbles in places and had numerous potholes.

• I sought to get a supply of grit for the residents of Aspley some of whom are unsteady on their feet.

• Another road issue I took up was potholes on Daisy Royd Newsome.

• Drains on Cross Lane Primrose Hill were overflowing at the bottom end of the road and I asked Kirklees Highways to get these cleared.

• I was contacted by local residents about Bankfield House in Taylor Hill. Planning permission was granted in 2008 and the site was secured, work started and construction materials were brought onto site. However nothing has happened for the last couple of years and residents are concerned that the site is not secure and boundary panels frequently fall over or are vandalised. I asked the Council to contact the owners to ensure the site was properly secured. This is an issue I’ll be keeping a close eye on

• I have taken up a number of complaints regarding empty properties around the Newsome Ward. At a time when we are under pressure by the Council and central government to build more houses it makes no sense that we have so many standing empty

These are the ‘bread and butter’ issues of being a local Councillor which affect people’s everyday lives.

I’ve played a key role in getting the thousands of leaflets out to you that we get printed and distributed using our own funds and legwork. If you’d like to help us with either this would be greatly appreciated.

I have joined my fellow Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper at some of the Green Party advice surgeries at the Monkey Club, Armitage Bridge that we hold on the first Sunday of the month between 1pm and 2pm. Please come along if you have any issues you would like to bring to our attention.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all

Cllr Graham Simpson Mobile 07814 239317

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