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Redditch Borough Council

My Response to Redditch Standard Editor’s Comment on RBC Climate Change Panel

Response to Editor’s Comment, Page 8, 27/09/2019

In response to this week’s Editor’s Comment, I just wanted to explain a couple of things and let residents judge for themselves in possession of both sides of the debate, not just the one.

Actually, by having our Climate Change Panel in private we can have *more* public engagement and participation in its work not less. As a private panel, it has the power to set its own topics and invite key members of the public to come and present and/or give evidence. This means the opportunity for interested people to come and persuade the powers that be is *greater* than it could be in a public meeting.

A public meeting only allows the public to come and ask a question. Questions are usually time-limited and at the discretion of the chair. That’s because the public are there to observe and scrutinise the work of elected officials in a public meeting so they can hold them to account at an election time, whereas in a private meeting they can be elevated to contributors and give their evidence and submissions in what the modern world refers to as a safe space. It’s an important distinction. 

As for the target – the reason why this has been sent to the panel to determine is due to those of us in the Conservative administration having a belief that we can actually set the target to be sooner than 2030, so we want the panel to determine if this is feasible or not. We want them to come back with an answer based on evidence, not political expediency. We know other councils have opted for 2030 or 2050 in response to public pressure, but how do any of us know that actually they could not have done it by 2025 or 2032 or 2038 or sooner? 

I don’t deny that the public mood on this topic has helped us get our skates on. But the local media and local campaigners seem to forget that my colleagues and I are on the same page, we are on board with this and we share that public mood too. We are, after all, representatives of the people.

What’s more, we turn up to the meetings. It’s all well and good to make a big noise about ‘public’ versus ‘private’ but the council has held TWO public meetings on this topic now and there were no Green campaigners or environmental activists in either of these meetings. As I’ve said before, it’s all well and good amassing a crowd outside Town Hall, but you’ve also got to engage in the committee rooms where the decisions are made.

Also in the Letters Page this week…

Categories
Redditch Borough Council

Redditch set to benefit massively from up to £25m from new Towns Fund

Her Majesty’s Government today announced that 100 places across England have been invited to submit a business case to access up to £25m each from the £3.6bn Towns Fund established by our Conservative government.

There’s more to politics than Brexit, and Redditch really needs this boost – so it was fantastic news to hear this morning that Redditch is one of the towns that will get something from this fund.

Categories
Redditch Borough Council

Have your say on the updated Redditch Borough Council tenancy agreement

The Redditch Borough Council tenancy agreement is changing.

Have a look & tell the council your views, by 16th September 2019.

  • New updated clearer style
  • All your rights and responsibilities
  • Useful contacts
  • And much more

See ‘Housing Tenancy Conditions and Agreement’ at www.redditchbc.gov.uk/consultations

Categories
National Politics

The 21 Conservative rebels who have had the whip removed – and how their constituencies voted on Brexit

SurnameForenameConstituencyConstituency VotedMP Voted
BebbGutoAberconwyLeaveRemain
GrieveDominicBeaconsfieldRemainRemain
GyimahSamEast SurreyLeaveRemain
SandbachAntoinetteEddisburyLeaveRemain
MiltonAnneGuildfordRemainRemain
SoamesNicholasMid SussexRemainRemain
BenyonRichardNewburyRemainRemain
BurtAlistairNorth East BedfordshireLeaveRemain
StewartRoryPenrith & The BorderLeaveRemain
GreeningJustinePutneyRemainRemain
NokesCarolineRomsey & Southampton NorthRemainRemain
HammondStephenRunnymede & WeybridgeRemainRemain
ClarkeKennethRushcliffeRemainRemain
GaukeDavidSouth West HertfordshireRemainRemain
JamesMargotStourbridgeLeaveRemain
Clark GregTunbridge WellsRemainRemain
VaizeyEdWantageRemainRemain
HarringtonRichardWatfordLeaveRemain
LetwinOliverWest DorsetLeaveRemain
HammondPhilipWimbledonRemainRemain
BrineSteveWinchesterRemainRemain

8 of the 21 rebels were out of step with their constituencies.

Spotted an error? Email mike@mikerouse.uk

Categories
Church Hill

August update on Anti-social Behaviour issues in Church Hill

I am unable to attend tomorrow’s PACT meeting at St. Andrew’s Church at 7.00pm, so I wanted to do a quick written update for local residents on the work I have been doing to tackle anti-social behaviour in Church Hill. To be precise, I’m referring to the kind of anti-social behaviour that involves groups of young people behaving in dangerous, intimidating and sometimes illegal ways.

During and after a recent Friday night local Councillor surgery session I encountered one of the groups directly, along with Cllr Juliet Brunner who joins me at the sessions from a County Council perspective. I become very concerned about the behaviour of the group and what they were up to that a call to the police became necessary.

In the days that followed I met with police and council officers and a number of actions have been taken, including the cutting back of some bushes and trees that were being used as hiding places to carry out illegal activities. It was shocking to say the least that some of the people associated with these activities were clearly below the age of 15 or 16.

Fast-forward to more recently and this time I encounter a group of young people, and one young person in particular, who was riding his bicycle up and down the bus road across the Tanhouse Lane junction, right up to the bus and right in front of it doing wheelies. At one point the bus had to slam on its brakes to avoid hitting the young person, who couldn’t have been more than 17 years old or so. Another call was made to the police.

At both incidents I very obviously called the police, right in front of the groups. I am not a small bloke and I won’t allow these kids to intimidate me. However, on both occasions neither of the groups were in the slightest bit bothered that I had called the police. They were not afraid the police would come, and they just carried on doing what they were doing. Eventually, as the calls to the police went on they realised I really did call the police so they casually drifted away. It felt more like they were reluctantly moving on more to avoid the awkwardness of the situation than any fear of being in trouble with the police.

Therein lies the problem, folks. These young people – who come from all over Redditch to hang out in Church Hill, by the way – are seemingly fearless and operate with a sense of impunity. They do whatever they want, whenever they want and they don’t respond to adults telling them otherwise.

Well, we shall see about that.

Over the coming days, weeks and months I will be working with my colleagues on the Borough Council, my colleagues at the County Council – especially Juliet Brunner who set up the Matchborough Task Force after similar issues were encountered there – and also with West Mercia Police to see what further options we have to explore.

I will work with our MP, Rachel Maclean, to continue to lobby government and in particular the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to ensure that our police are getting the resources they clearly need to help local communities like ours.

I will not be partisan in this work and I will reach across the political aisle for support in dealing with this problem – I hope my political opponents will also approach this in a bipartisan way also.

Finally, I urge you all to keep calling 101, or if the situation requires it, 999. By reporting problems and incidents we can start to create a better intelligence picture, allowing police to respond better and more proactively, but also so the Borough Council and County Council can direct resources appropriately.

Categories
Redditch Borough Council

Redditch Borough Council issued with “Section 24” financial warning

Redditch Borough Council has been issued with a “Section 24 notice” by the Borough’s auditors. The Redditch Standard has the story.

Categories
Church Hill

Ongoing Action Being Taken to Combat Anti-Social and Drug Behaviour in Church Hill – Share your experiences

Anti-social behaviour is something that comes up a lot in my surgeries and local neighbourhood meetings. It ranges from anti-social parking to more sinister acts, which are sometimes actually just plain criminality.

Categories
National Politics

Have your say on the Conservative Party Leadership election

Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt

As a Councillor for the Conservative Party, I will have a vote in the upcoming leadership elections. As these are important elections that will decide on who the next Prime Minister will be for all of us I have decided to consult with local residents to see who they would like to see become our next Prime Minister.

Categories
Uncategorized

Great Get Together Redditch 2019

I really enjoyed attending the Great Get Together Redditch 2019 on Saturday. This is an opportunity for the community and all parties across the political spectrum to get together and show there’s more that unites us than divides us.

Categories
National Politics

Comments to BBC News Channel on the Conservative Party Leadership Contest

Footage from BBC News Channel 20 June 2019

On Thursday 20th June I spoke to the BBC News Channel about the Conservative Party leadership contest. Within minutes of me finishing the results of the final ballot amongst MPs was known and we were presented with what many of us saw coming – a Hunt vs Boris final.