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Cllr Paul Kenny

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Everything posted by Cllr Paul Kenny

  1. Paul Helen Jones is spot on to make an issue of this. There are numerous examples from 1st May of poor electoral administration, primarily but not exclusively due to the cuts which the Democratic Services at the the Town Hall have had to endure. Similar issues arose last year and lessons clearly have not been learned. Non delivery of postal votes, polling cards and the moving of polling stations in areas where no polling cards were delivered contributed to the fiasco. I am aware of two polling districts in my ward where polling cards were not delivered and postal votes not arriving. This was mirrored in a number of wards across the borough. As political activists we know you do not need a polling card to vote but for many people, they believe that you must have this piece of paper to vote. We then have the count when I understand some parish council ward results were announced without candidates and agents being informed of the initial result so that any challenge could be submitted and recounts undertaken. You are right we need a 'thorough and professional investigation' that's why I support Helen's call for an independant investigation - we were told lessons had been learned last year but they clearly have not been!
  2. The Lib Dem bubble is indeed about to burst. As I mentioned on my blog following the local elections. "In an earlier post I argued election night belonged to the Tories (despite Lib Dem tub thumping) and the figures do indeed show this to be the case. Already Cllr Kennedy (Con Hatton, Stretton & Walton) and Warrington South Tories are buoyed by their success on 1st May and have begun the phoney war of predicting local election success will bring victory in Warrington South at the next general election. As we on the Labour side know all too well (pre 1997) council elections are not always a good indicator of how voters will cast their general election vote. The Tories still face an electoral mountain. The fact remains that in just over 11 years of a Labour Government the Tories can only 'boast' 7, yes 7 seats out of 57 on Warrington BC. In what should be a stronghold for them - south of the Manchester Ship Canal, they can only muster 2 seats. That does not mean that the next few years will remain barren for them. May 1st 2008, if nothing else, confirmed that 'real politics' has returned and I predict the Lib Dems will now be squeezed over the next few years as the local Tory association begins to flex its muscles at a local level south of the canal. Cllr Walker may not be the last Lib Dem to lose to the Tories over the next few years." The traditional two party divide has now returned - Clegg will be powerless to stop this as voters turn their minds to the general election. Lib Dem MP's in the South will fall to a resurgent Conservative vote. Further evidence of this is the current by-election in Crewe & Nantwich. If this by-election was being held pre-2005 the Lib Dems would be the main challenger to Labour - but the by-election is a straight fight between the two main parties.
  3. Just to clarify, no elections for the borough council in Latchford West, Latchford East and Great Sankey North wards but there will be Parish Council elections in Sankey so voters in Great Sankey North will be able to elect 5 parish councillors to Great Sankey Parish Council.
  4. Cllr Bruce has raised this issue on a number of occasions - yet does not appear to have persuaded her coalition partner to cut borrowing. At the end of the day, it is a matter for the Conservative Party - What do they actually get out of this arrangement? If last years local election results are anything to go by - not much! [ 04.04.2008, 08:41: Message edited by: Cllr Paul Kenny ]
  5. Paul, Is this the same Cllr Walker with whom you will contest the Hatton, Stretton & Walton seat? [ 01.04.2008, 08:11: Message edited by: Cllr Paul Kenny ]
  6. web page WAHL - The attached link provides you with the official government press release. Local Authorities (inc the Cheshire Police Service) were notified that the government expected council tax levels to be under 5% (This has been the case for the last few years). Where an authority breaches this figure (or the budget requirement) the Secretary of State can use powers to cap the 'offending' authority. The vast majority of local authorities heed the advice and set budgets within the guidelines. Cheshire Police now have a period of 21 days to make their case to HMG. If they are unsuccessful the government will cap their budget leading to a revised budget and each council tax payer in Cheshire will be issued with a new bill by their respective council. This is costly and calls in to question the Police Authorities judgement given they know exactly what course of action lay ahead if they breached the 'capping' guidelines.
  7. In fairness to the council, the police precept is set by the Police Authority. The council is a collecting agent, on behalf of the PA. Off course, the council will now have to rebill everybody in the Town at a cost, which I believe should be recoverable from the PA. The government were right to cap the PA!
  8. A number of councillors past and present are keen cyclists - Cllr Colin Froggatt springs to mind and former councillor Peter Black.
  9. Thanks for the comments - clearly a technical glich exists which prevents some from opening the file which I will look into. Paul, you correctly assumed that Kevin is our candidate in F&H. The latest Warr South Cons leaflet is well put together and is just one of several I have received over the last few months. Is Lord Ashcroft bankrolling your campaign? BazJ The LA Bowl lights - I did receive a response from officers which I posted but you really need to contact your ward councillors for an update. They should have the reasons at hand as to why the lights are not operational.
  10. The 08/09 budget was agreed at full council on a motion put forward by the ruling Lib Dem/Tory Axis. Labour voted against the motion. Perhaps the Lib Dem or Tory councillors who read this board could seek to justify their budget for 08/09. LA Bowl lights - contact the Westbrook Ward councillors ( I think Cllr Earl and Cllr Long). Peter, I can't understand why it won't open for you. Try visiting my blog and downlaod it there!
  11. Asp, you need to have adobe acrobat on your PC to view this newsletter.
  12. http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/18/1821554/Fairfield%20and%20Howley%20Spring%20A3%202008.pdf [ 20.03.2008, 08:18: Message edited by: Cllr Paul Kenny ]
  13. Agree with the majority of Obs comments. However, Right to Buy will not go - it has been very popular with tenants who aspire to home ownership (at a healthy reduced market rate). Council's should be given the legal power to build new council homes. The 'so called 4th option'. It is clear that the options pursued to date have simply not worked. With thousands on the housing waiting list with little or no chance of securing a tenancy government must act now.
  14. BazJ - I now understand (from council officers)that the Cromwell Ave/Calder Rd junction is provisionally timetabled for switch-on on 7th February. The delay has been caused by Christmas traffic flows (officers thought it unwise to commission during this period), and arranging the go-live date with external engineers & suppliers.
  15. BazJ - The lights, I think, fall within Westbrook Ward (Cllr Bernard Long Tel. 650186 and Cllr David Earl Tel. 495085). The responsible portfolio holder is Cllr Brian Axcell (Environment Services) Tel.267540.
  16. BazJ Traffic Lights at Westbrook - Agree. An example of the relevant portfolio holder and local councillors not holding highway officers to account. Bus Shelters - I seem to recall that there have been cases brought against individuals caught damaging shelters (CCTV evidence). LA Bowl - I will try to find out what has happened here and get back to you. Alcohol fuelled crime as per Sky report - Action needs to be proportionate. I would support reducing the number of licensed premises and increase the duty (significantly) on certain brands (strong alcohol content). Greater use of fixed penalty notices and action against parents of U18s. Off course the rights of the law abiding majority also have to be considered hence the phrase 'proportionate'. This post is actually about housing - I am not quite sure why we have ended up with 2 posts. can the moderators merge the two?
  17. Legion, The cash raised from Right to Buy has not been reinvested in new council homes. Successive governments have not allowed this. The present government did relax this but it has had negligible impact here in Warrington. Instead RSL's have been encouraged to build through direct grants hence the current development at Robson Street. Off course this is no where near enough to satisfy demand.
  18. Peter - No not yet. The process is just starting although it must be pointed out the decision about future management arrangements rests with the council not the GGH Board. BazJ - whilst it may appear to you as 'childish and stupid' most decisions taken at the Town Hall receive the support of all the parties. Off course, when we disagree this tends to make the headlines in the local media. I certainly believe that the current administration at the Town Hall have the best interests of Warrington at heart as do the opposition but that should never stop challenge, scrutiny and disagreement. It is fundamental in a democratic institution that alternative views can be put forward.
  19. Is this a good move? - Any decision should be based on evidence. That's why, I presume, the cabinet will ask the Housing Options Panel to look at the financial modelling in detail. I am not going to come down in favour of arms length or stock transfer until I have seen the figures and considered the impact the different models would bring to Warrington. Is this a Labour Initiative? - Stock Transfer has taken place in many local authorities which were Labour controlled when the decision was taken eg St Helens. Likewise many decided to go for the arms length option eg Warrington and Wigan. This is an example of local choice. The Government are relaxed about this matter but do not currently support the so-called 4th option. This has led some local authorities where tenants have voted not to transfer between a rock and a hard place.
  20. Legion, At the time there was consultation to move towards an arms length organisation. It was clear that there was widespread support for this approach from tenant groups and tenants. It is the government that are calling on local authorities to consult with tenants and other key stakeholders and I am sure the cabinet will agree to this. It is the right thing to do. Read the council report on my blog for the full details. This is a significant issue which will face the council, with far reaching consequences. The purpose of my post is to give readers the opportunity to examine, if they so wish, the arguments for and against different management options for the existing council stock.
  21. Next week the Lib Dem/Tory cabinet will discuss the options available to the council for the future of the circa 9,000 council homes currently under the management of the arms length organisation Golden Gates Housing (GGH). Visit my blog to download the council report in full. Thanks to Labour ?65million has been invested in meeting the decent homes standard over a 4 year period. Indeed it was the previous Labour administration that set up GGH. Despite this success story the housing service faces financial pressures not least rising tenant aspirations and the loss of revenue from right to buy sales which has seen a net loss of nearly a quarter of the stock in the last decade alone. Proponents of Stock Transfer will highlight the increased investment that this option could bring in realising tenant aspirations and also in new build for rent but this comes at a cost. Visit http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/ for further details. There are now a number of local authorities in the country who have balloted tenants and have lost the vote to transfer. The so called 4th option - which Defend Council Housing lobby for is still not favoured by the government leaving Warrington with a major decision which will affect generations to come. A decision is not expected till later this year - a Housing Options Panel will be called to look at the options available to the council and will be asked to make a recommendation to council. However, the Warrington Lib Dems were enthusiastic supporters of stock transfer at the time GGH was formed and I am not aware of any change in their policy since then.
  22. Next week the Lib Dem/Tory cabinet will discuss the options available to the council for the future of the circa 9,000 council homes currently under the management of the arms length organisation Golden Gates Housing (GGH). Visit my blog to download the council report in full. Thanks to Labour ?65million has been invested in meeting the decent homes standard over a 4 year period. Indeed it was the previous Labour administration that set up GGH. Despite this success story the housing service faces financial pressures not least rising tenant aspirations and the loss of revenue from right to buy sales which has seen a net loss of nearly a quarter of the stock in the last decade alone. Proponents of Stock Transfer will highlight the increased investment that this option could bring in realising tenant aspirations and also in new build for rent but this comes at a cost. Visit http://www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk/dch/ for further details. There are now a number of local authorities in the country who have balloted tenants and have lost the vote to transfer. The so called 4th option - which Defend Council Housing lobby for is still not favoured by the government leaving Warrington with a major decision which will affect generations to come. A decision is not expected till later this year - a Housing Options Panel will be called to look at the options available to the council and will be asked to make a recommendation to council. However, the Warrington Lib Dems were enthusiastic supporters of stock transfer at the time GGH was formed and I am not aware of any change in their policy since then.
  23. The Chief Executive has requested a 'full report' from the responsible officer into the events of Friday. Clearly, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions until the report is published, which I await with considerable interest!
  24. I was saddened to learn of the death of Hon Ald Arnold Harpin. Arnold was a former County Councillor and was married to Joan who served on Warrington BC for a number of years. Arnold was 82 and had suffered from ill health for a number of years. His funeral will take place on Friday, 25th January at Walton Lea.
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