Below is the text of the Rugby Observer article printed on the 27th October (page 11). It reports on my call for open primaries to be used when choosing party candidates for next years local elections.
GIVING voters the power to choose their borough council election candidates is being proposed in a bid to shake-up local politics in Rugby.
Tory councillor Howard Roberts wants to see open primary elections held, whereby the electorate vote for the people they wish to be their candidates in council elections.
Under the present system a small group of party members - sometimes just a handful - select their candidates behind closed doors.
Coun Roberts, Dunchurch and Knightlow representative, has proposed the changes ahead of next May's elections when all seats on Rugby Borough Council will be contested.
Monday, 24 October 2011
As you may have seen from previous blog posts and the local press I made a call in the summer for a new awards scheme to honour the unsung heroes of the Borough. After discussions with Council colleagues and officers, it has been possible to enhance an already running scheme that delivers the kind of award I envisaged. Obviously I am delighted.
My idea, which was tabled as a motion to Full Council, called for a new award system to honour those who are often overlooked but deserving anyway. As the Council explored options to facilitate my idea it became clear that the most rapid and effective method would be to enhance the current WCAVA (Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action) awards scheme while advertising the scheme more vividly.
What I am keen to achieve is recognition for the silent minority who engage in remarkable displays of selfless endeavour. I see these people in my role as Councillor for Dunchurch and Knightlow and I will be looking to nominate several people.
Details can be found on this news item of the Rugby Borough Council website: http://www.rugby.gov.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=856
Friday, 7 October 2011
Below is my response to the consultation document on planning that has been published by the Department of Local Government and Communities. As will be evident I have some serious concerns, especially about the future of villages in my ward.
I am aware that the preferred method of response to the National Planning Policy Framework is in the form of a questionnaire. While I appreciate this makes opinions easier to collate, I am responding in prose so that my thoughts on this important document are fully articulated.
I do believe there are very many aspects of the National Planning Policy Framework that are laudable and would enhance the planning process: certainly the idea of using direct democracy in order for local communities to encourage needed development is a worthy thought. However, in order to avoid a response that is bland and unhelpful, I have focussed my comments on areas where I believe the National Planning Policy Framework needs more consideration.