Monday, 23 February 2015

Day 364

52 weeks to the day since the Labour/independent group took control at Burton Town Hall. Tonight we had a full council meeting to agree the budget for 2015-16.

The Conservatives were pathetic really, not putting forward any proposals of their own, simply moaning.   They kept on about a black hole in the budget. The truth is that we have set out a balanced budget for the next five years.

This time last year, our MP went on and on about how the Labour/Independent group had spent an extra £225,000. Of course he was wrong, but it seemed that if he repeated himself often enough, it must be true.

In fact we are one of eight councils in the country that have CUT their council tax. I don't suppose we'll have an apology from Andrew Griffiths for his nonsense about the £225,000.  Nor will we hear him congratulate the council on its prudent approach that has meant we can pass on savings to residents.

Saturday, 21 February 2015


The funeral of Frank Bather ex-Conservative and later Independent councillor was held yesterday.

Some of you may have been offended by the image file name that clearly was totally inappropriate and insensitive.

Let me assure you this was entirely accidental. My sincerest apologies to anyone who was offended.



Monday, 16 February 2015

Day 357 - Cabinet agrees to recommend 1 per cent cut in council tax

In February 2014 the Labour/Independents took control of the borough council.

Ousted leader, Conservative Richard Grosvenor left behind a message on the wall of his office - now my office.  The message said that the council had some money - don't ruin it.

So 12 months later where are we?

The council's finances have not been ruined but enhanced.

  • the 52 per cent cut in government grants to councils
  • not introducing the brown bin tax
  • money wasted by the Tories on a skating ink
  • having to reduce rents at Burton Market Hall to make up for the Tories' mishandling of the market
We have:
  • Cut council tax by 1 per cent
  • Increased the reserves by £201,000
  • Frozen car park charges
  • Doubled the Neighbourhood Working Fund
  • Decided to repay £1.5 million of Tory borrowing
  • Agreed to build new changing rooms at Shobnall
  • Produced a balanced budget form now until 2020
Yes we have been prudent and the council will need to continue to be prudent. But the council's money is safe in Labour Party hands.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Jon Wheale visits boxing club

I recently took Jon Wheale to the Burton Amateur Boxing Club in Bradmore Road.

As we arrived dozens of youngsters (both boys and girls) were undertaking exercises and learning about boxing and self-discipline.

Jon was very impressed by the lottery funded building and I explained how the club has benefited from WASP grants and Communities First money.

By the way I have never boxed and this is about the nearest I'll ever get to a boxing ring.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Day 354 - I get photographed standing next to a mango

Yes it's right. This morning (Fri 13th) I was photographed next to a human mango at the launch of the Burton Quality Bus Partnership at Burton & SD College.

The three bus companies plus the borough council and the county council are voluntarily coming together to improve services.


From March there will be RTPI (Real Time Passenger Information) on many bus stops telling you how long till the next bus. Great idea. Been talking about it for years, now at last it is happening.

Shared tickets

At present both Arriva and Midland Classic run services to the Hospital. If you buy a return ticket you can only use it on the bus company that sold you the ticket. From now on you will be able to use either ticket on either bus.


I even went home by bus.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Horninglow Friendship Club

I got invited to the Friendship Club this afternoon (12th Feb) and it was well worth going. It is part of the action on loneliness in Horninglow and it was good to see so many nice people enjoying themselves.

It was a cheese and wine. I tried a few cheeses but no wine - another two meetings to go on to!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Planning application at 2 Harbury Street.

The Trustees of the Wyggeston Hospital of Leicester recently applied for planning permission to build 17 houses including demolition of a house, a shed and a garage at 2 Harbury Street and garages at the rear.

Yesterday I got the chance to visit the site which can only be accessed through a gate at the side of 2 Harbury Street.

It is a large brownfield site in a sustainable location in the town. However the access isn't great and parking would be a problem. Where would all the bins go? 
I don't think the application fits in with the new Horninglow and Eton Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The application has now been withdrawn. I will check this but it sounds like the applicants has been told that 17 houses would be over-development.