Friday, August 27, 2004

Borough Council Sit On The Fence 

At long last Stafford Borough Council’s Cabinet have come to decision on M6 Toll. And surprise, surprise it’s not a decision at all. Despite Councillor Doug Davis tell the recent meeting at Codsall that the proposal was worthy of serious consideration he and his colleagues have now decided they don’t have enough information on which to make a decision! I suppose this was not unexpected as they could not be seen to be supporting the plan when David Chambers the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stafford and a number of Conservative Councillors whose wards would be affected have publicly said they are against the plan. Unfortunately taking this stance shows not just how desperate the Conservatives are in not wanting to rock the boat, but also how they are prepared to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of local people in the hope they will not lose votes. Its unbelievable the Council are prepared to sit on the fence in this way!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"Ears" Training 

Tonight I spent an interesting couple of hours at the Old Railway Station in Stone taking part in a Lib Dem training course designed to help local parties get better use out of the parties “Ears” software package. This software, which has been developed by the Lib Des over a number of years, helps in keeping track of canvass data and voting intentions of local populations. Stafford Constituency has now been using this package for quite a while and so the information it contains will certainly be useful when the next general election is called.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Stan Robinson Haulage 

Stan Robinson is certainly a well known name in Stafford and today I had the pleasure of sending a couple of hours visiting his business premises at Ladford Fields in Seighford. Stan runs a large national haulage company, which he started about thirty years ago with one lorry. I’d wanted to visit Stan for sometime, but the proposed new M6 Toll make it even more urgent. I wanted to know how he say the future of road use, and to discuss with him his alternative plans for a new motorway link between the north and the Midlands. While I’m not in favour of building more road, and support the concept of finding better ways to shift freight and control the use of road space, I have to say the suggestion Stan put forward of a new motorway from Warrington to Birmingham, via Telford did seem to have more merit than the Governments proposal for the new M6 Toll. It was obvious talking to him that as a person involved in the daily usage of the road system he brought some good practical ideas to the table.

Even he admitted that moving freight by rail had advantages and was something he had investigated with EWS – the rail freight carriers. As a large proportion of Stan’s business is moving loads from Stafford to Devon and Scotland putting these on trains did make sense. However his enquiries with EWS had resulted in him being told he would have to get this loads to either Rugby or Warrington before they could be transferred onto the train, which is of course a none starter. It’s clear that what this Country is lacking is a workable integrated transport policy but that if on was in place it would fine favour and support from many quarters.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Little Onn Fly-tipping Problem 

Tonight I meet with a couple of local residents from Little Onn who were concerned about fly-tipping on the old airfield near to their home. I have to say that over the past few years I’ve had a steady stream of calls about abandoned and burnt out cars on the perimeter road, but of late these complaints have dried up. However it now appears a builder has taken to dumping rubbish in the same spot. The residents in question has taken the problem up with the Council direct only to be told that as the land was private there was noting the Council could do. Unfortunately things have now come to ahead as some of the rubbish included drums of chemicals. Luckily before our meeting one of the residents had contacted the Environmental Protection Agency who had agreed to take action. To help matters the last lot of rubbished dumped included some paper work which gave the name and address of the builder in question so hopefully his days of illegal dumping are numbered.

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