CHRISTCHURCH CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR CRITICISES ROAD MAINTENANCE CUTS

CHRISTCHURCH CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR CRITICISES ROAD MAINTENANCE CUTS

Conservative Christchurch Councillor Peter Hall has criticised the cuts to the maintenance and street cleansing of Christchurch roads, which are part of BCP Council’s £600,000 worth of road maintenance cutbacks announced last month by the Council’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for finance, Councillor David Brown. Commenting on the issue, Councillor Hall said: “It’s simply not good enough for the residents of Christchurch to see previously announced investment into street cleaning and maintenance scrapped. Little to no money has been spent on our town’s infrastructure since the beginning of the year. To learn that this is set to continue is very worrying indeed. On the back of a number of other disappointing failures for residents across Christchurch, from the loss of parking due to the Police Station redevelopment to being bottom…
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CONSERVATIVES ON BCP COUNCIL ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR TOUGHER ENFORCEMENT BY EXPANDING PSPO PROGRAMME

CONSERVATIVES ON BCP COUNCIL ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR TOUGHER ENFORCEMENT BY EXPANDING PSPO PROGRAMME

Illegal campfires, camping and littering at our beauty spots could be protected by new PSPOs Following the successful deployment in many Councils across the country of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), the Conservative Group on BCP Council are calling for urgent funding into an array of PSPOs across the BCP area to help enforcement issues. Commenting on the plan, which could be funded by the alternate budget proposals included in the Conservative’s Budget Reset paper which will be considered the Liberal Democrat-led Cabinet on Wednesday, Councillor May Haines, Shadow Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Residents are emailing and telling us on a daily basis that they’ve had enough with nothing being done to enforce bad or unsociable behaviour across our towns. Previous Councils have used PSPOs in the past,…
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Letter to the Editor – A time to unite for all BCP

Letter to the Editor – A time to unite for all BCP

As the Leader of the Conservative Group on BCP Council, I feel compelled to respond to the recent comments in this paper from some of my fellow councillors. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a “critical and challenging time” as we manage the enormous health and economic crisis before us.  The ruling Unity Alliance has suffered resignations in the last year. As such, the Alliance is now a minority administration whose cabinet of political compromise is paralysed by their internal politics and inexperience at a time when this conurbation cannot afford weak leadership.  That is why the Conservative Group, after consultation with the Chief Executive and other senior officers, offered to put politics firmly to one side and to work with the current Leader in dealing with these issues together…
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Vote of no confidence

Vote of no confidence

Following a year where Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has faced significant difficulties, the new Leader of the Conservative Group, local businessman Councillor Drew Mellor, has announced that the Conservatives will be supporting a vote of no confidence at the forthcoming Council meeting on Tuesday 9th June. Explaining the reasoning behind the move, Councillor Mellor commented: “Over the last year we have seen several high profile disagreements within the ruling seven-group coalition, leading already to a number of resignations. This has left the Administration in even greater difficulty as it becomes harder and harder to satisfy the divergent wishes of each group and individual.  The Conservative Group already make up almost half the Council. Having consulted with a number of councillors outside our Group, we have reached an agreement…
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Letter to the Editor – BCP £30m Black Hole

Letter to the Editor – BCP £30m Black Hole

As Leader of the Conservative opposition for BCP I would appreciate the opportunity to comment on two recent Echo articles both relating to the precarious financial position BCP Council finds itself in as a result of Covid-19 and the differing financial responses reported. Firstly, as a clarification, the Conservative Group has asked the Council to explore accelerating the planned economies of scale and duplication of back office functions “Transformation Plan” in order to take some responsibility ourselves for delivering a more efficient Council rather than waiting to be bailed out by Government. Additionally we have asked that consideration be given to maintaining the Town Hall as a civic hub but not to spend £20m - £26m refurbishing the office space behind the Town Hall and instead to buy an existing…
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Conservatives in bold £50m rescue plan for BCP Council Finances

Conservatives in bold £50m rescue plan for BCP Council Finances

The Conservative Group on BCP Council have formally called for the ruling Liberal Democrat alliance to bring back plans to modernise the Council, originally promised by Local Government Reorganisation (“LGR”) a year ago but formally put on hold this month. “The Covid-19 pandemic is a Health and Economic crisis of enormous scale. We welcome the huge mobilisation effort from officers in relation to the Health emergency whilst calling into question the administration’s financial planning response to date. With a huge loss in the Council’s income expected through diminished receipts in areas like car parking it is without doubt that we will have a financial hole that is well in excess of our reserves. Any commercial organisation would have immediately looked at a financial response but briefings with senior officers shockingly…
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Twin Sails Bridge

Twin Sails Bridge

Longstanding Hamworthy Councillor, Mike White, joins his BCP Council colleagues in expressing his disappointment that the Twin Sails Bridge has now been closed again for over two weeks. “When this was closed last summer the Leader of the Council described the situation in an Echo article dated August 10th as "completely unacceptable". She also assured us in that article that despite inheriting issues with the bridge "we intend to sort this out" and stated she would ask why "there has been no contingency plan in place" The BCP Conservative Group understand there is now a further problem with the other lifting ram and would like to know exactly what the contingency plan is and how the new BCP administration proposes to deliver on the wide-ranging promises made last summer.”
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Boscombe and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan

Boscombe and Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan

The Boscombe & Pokesdown Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted by the Council at the end of last year. This followed 4 years of hard work by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and involved numerous public meetings and various consultation events leading to the submission of the draft Plan and its ratification in a local referendum. Conservative councillor, Andy Jones said “A key component of the Plan is to protect the character and heritage of the Boscombe & Pokesdown area. Despite the Plan being in place we continue to see permitted development applications from owners/developers seeking to demolish period properties and replace them with often pokey and characterless blocks of flats. One such application received over 80 objections from residents! The Neighbourhood Plan needs to be given more teeth so as…
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Conservatives Connecting

Conservatives Connecting

The Conservative Group of BCP Council are establishing a powerful, focussed and determined ‘Group’ to bring a strong Conservative-values influence on the new direction of the BCP Council which was created just one year ago to promote the interests and well-being of three great Towns that comprise the BCP Council conurbation. A “circular Forum” of Conservative Councillors will bring all issues effecting Residents to the Group for a cross-Conurbation consensus of where BCP operations can and should be operating effectively and sustainably. For example : The Environment Working Group, under the Chairmanship of the Shadow Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cllr Mark Anderson  have started examining aspects of BCP operations that Residents have questioned in effectiveness , efficiency and indeed perceived cost effectiveness as all Councils are required to progress towards lean…
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Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters

At the most recent BCP Council Overview & Scrutiny committee, Conservative Councillor, Laurence Fear, raised the very important issue around mental health awareness and provision during this pandemic crisis. His concerns are not only for our Residents but also for the BCP staff and the wider community in this unprecedented climate. Cllr Fear said "We are all having to adapt to a very challenging environment as we come to terms with the many differing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in particular. It is hugely important that we give focus to mental health at this time as we know people are struggling. I have asked for our provision to be actively publicised and examined and I was pleased to get reassurance on this from the Director of Public Health".…
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