Attended my first Local Government Association Conference last week in Harrogate. As you can imagine there was a great deal of blah, blah, blah but a few interesting speakers. Jeremy Hunt, the Health minister, put forward his ideas on how they were going to reduce demand on the NHS. It appears as though it’s all my fault – overweight, a bit of a smoker and I live on my own. So if I give up drinking, smoking and eating the NHS should be safe. Then all of us retired people should move back in with our children to reduce care costs and free up some housing – great in theory but it presumes that you have to got rid of your kids in the first place!
John Pienaar gave us his views on the state of the parties after the election – it looks like we could be in for a long spell of Tory rule. Mind you it was interesting watching the ‘group’ of Tories from Suffolk County Council spend 3 days trying to avoid each other. It is a worry for the residents of Suffolk because I just don’t see the quality of Cabinet member required to deliver the services with reduced funds. In two years time, with the Tory Government delivering the peak level of austerity cuts, the County Council elections could deliver a mixed colour administration.
I hope that the many Council CEOs that were there spent more time talking with the many exhibitors who seem to have already come up with some innovative solutions – my favourite was the rubbish bin that has its own built-in compactor thus reducing the emptying frequency.
County Councillor, Belstead Brook
Spokesman, Audit and FInance
Twenty six years after it first proposed a store in Hadleigh, Tesco has at last admitted defeat and has withdrawn its application to build a supermarket there.
The supermarket giant has finally conceded that they cannot get past spirited public defence of Hadleigh High Street – which on this final occasion was led by Lib Dem David Busby and the Babergh Planning Committee. District councillors voted seven to six to reject the plans. They decided they would be gambling on the future of the whole town’s economy if they the 2,500 square metre store to go ahead.
“Tesco would do more harm than good,” said Cllr Busby.“If we get the decision wrong and the high street goes down, we will never get it back.”
However he warns that the future of the town doesn’t end here. ”This can only be seen as the start of the survival of the High Street, it doesn’t guarantee it,” says Cllr Busby. ” A sustainable future can only be ensured by constant attention.It is now down to the people of Hadleigh, the retailers and the town councillors to make it happen!
Mo-vember is upon us once again and Suffolk LibDems are already seeing a change to their dapper spokesperson for Finance and Property, Dave Busby, Councillor for Belstead Brook.
The mo-vement is an annual month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November. The aim is to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancers and associated charities.
We will be update the moustache scenario at the end of the month to see how he gets on..
Update: December 2013
Congratulations to Dave Busby whose Mo-vember efforts managed to raise funds both for Prostate cancer research and for the Samaritans.