Mark's campaign notepad and other stuff

Notes from the writer/LibDem parliamentary candidate for Somerton & Frome

St John’s Wood Area Forum Nov 13th

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I was at the local Westminster Council Area Forum earlier in the week – I suspect some of the main issues are common to the whole Borough. Here’s some key points:
I saw a presentation on the Parking Sensor trial – not sure about Labour’s claim it’s a money-grabbing scam – at least not yet. As currently piloted, it would appear to improve efficiency and can be an aid to motorists. However there is a danger that the technology could be abused for enforcement/surveillance purposes in the future, and we need to keep an eye on that.
Yet again developers are trying to slink out of their commitment to social housing. Clearly maximum profits are derived from selling on units at the highest possible prices, but the Council needs to be pressured to monitor this and ensure such contraventions do not occur. The current spotlight is on Lodge Road, where the developers are trying to secure 47 ‘intermediate’ units and no ‘social’ at all.
A key issue locally has been the proposed development of St John’s Wood Barracks – the King’s Troop has now departed, but the site has lain vacant for nearly a year. Looks like the previous developes caught a cold on their £200+ million and sold it on – the new developers are expected to make a new application in due course. Isn’t Groundhog Day about this time of year?
Another local issue which has caused consternation is the redevelopment of Quintin Kynaston school – it seems some of the plans are going ahead despite not all planning conditions having been met. Clearly the Council should be held to account if it’s letting this happen.
Basement development has caused problems here as it has across the borough – there’s a call to have more control over this disruptive and potentially damaging trend. Karen Buck is championing this and running a survey with the St John’s Wood Society.
There’s much concern over cuts to police budgets and numbers. Looks like St John’s Wood police station is closing.
There’s £68,000 left in the Abbey Road ward budget! Anyone got any ideas how this could be spent? Who’s hurting most from the cuts? Can we help them?
Shame two of the six councillors didn’t turn up – these forums only happen three times a year, you’d think they could manage that.
The next forum will be held in the Spring


Written by markblackburn

November 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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