Councillor Roma Mills with playground and sports equipment your Labour councillors worked to provide in Batchwood.
PUBLICISED AT THE REQUEST OF YOUR LABOUR COUNCILLORS IN ST ALBANS
OPEN MEETING ST ALBANS AND HARPENDEN PATIENT GROUP (SAPG)
Wednesday 21st March, 7pm at St Albans civic centre
“St Albans Minor Injuries Unit to Urgent Treatment Centre”…speaker Dr Richard Pile.
Have you ever wondered why St Albans has a Minor Injuries Unit,Hemel Hempstead has an Urgent Treatment Centre, and Welwyn has an Urgent Care Centre? For some time SAPG has been campaigning for the Minor Injuries Unit to be upgraded to provide urgent care. Minor injuries units are nurse-led, while an urgent care units are doctor led and have a full range of diagnostic support……so a wider range of problems can be treated.
There is a counter argument that says that because demand for services at the Minor Injuries Unit in St Albans is so low, there is insufficient demand to justify the service being upgraded.
PLEASE FILL IN OUR SURVEY TO ESTABLISH THE FACTS BEFORE THE MEETING ON 21ST MARCH
follow the link to the survey on : http://www.sapg.org.uk/home-page
John Wigley, Chair, SAPG
Alan Bellinger, Secretary , SAPG
Discounts of up to £78,600 are encouraging the ongoing sale of Council house – and the stock of homes in St Albans District has now reduced to under 5,000. Speaking at the meeting of the Full Council on 21 February, Labour’s Roma Mills pointed out that The District Council was not able to replace the homes that have been sold – and we now have over 100 families in temporary accommodation with many others living in overcrowded or unsuitable properties. Roma quoted the report from Inside Housing which found that in 72 councils 12,000 council houses had been sold since 2014 but only 4,309 houses have been built in the same time.
Trying to replace lost Council housing by negotiating a percentage of affordable housing on residential development sites is not working – the Council has only managed to secure 6 units of social rented housing via the planning route since 2015.
‘We need to be able to build Council houses again if we are going to meet the needs of local people on low incomes’ said Roma. The Local Government Assocation has already faced up to this and has been lobbying Government to allow Councils to borrow to build and to keep 100% of Council house sales to invest in new local homes.’
The Labour Motion was passed without objection and the Council will now be writing to the two local MPs to lobby them to put pressure on Government ministers.
For information contact Roma Mills, 07949825026.
Wording of the Resolution:
This Council supports the Local Government’s call for the Government to:
- allow Councils to set Right to Buy discounts locally and keep 100% of sale receipts to replace local homes,
- scrap the cap on the amount Councils can borrow to invest in new and existing homes,
To this end, this Council will write to the Members of Parliament for St Albans and the Hitchin and Harpenden constituencies to seek their support in securing these powers.
Residents of St Albans will be facing an increase of 5.8% in their Council Tax bills in April 2018 without seeing the benefit of new or improved services, claimed Councillor Roma Mills at the District Council meeting on 21 February. She slammed the increase in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s share of the tax when there is no longer a police station in the city – just a telephone line outside the Council offices – and residents have to go to Hatfield or Watford to report a crime in person.
Roma also commented on the County Council’s decision to raise their share of the tax by 5.9% – pointing out that while 3% is ring-fenced for social services, people are having to pay higher charges for their social care support while services continue to be cut back.
‘Council tax payers are just picking up some of the bill for the Conservative Government’s underfunding of public services’ said Roma after the meeting ‘while residents are also being asked to support crowd-funding and sponsorship to maintain local services like playgrounds. This is what austerity means in practice.’
The District Labour Group voted against the increase in Council tax for 2018/19.
For information contact Roma Mills, 07949825026.
Comments from St Albans’ Tory MP likening the bedroom tax to a fairy tale have provoked an angry response from local residents. Speaking in a debate organised by the opposition which culminated in a vote on whether to drop the highly controversial policy, Mrs Main left MPs bemused by saying “unicorns aren’t real, fairies aren’t real and the bedroom tax isn’t real”
The comments have provoked a furious reaction from local residents with some drawing unfavourable comparisons with Mrs Maine’s own expenses record. Local residents have joined Labour Parliamentary Candidate and former MP for St Albans Kerry Pollard in recording a short video on the policy, and are inviting residents to have their say on the bedroom tax by posting below;
Labour Parliamentary spokesperson for St Albans Kerry Pollard said;
“With hundreds of people locally feeling the effect of this policy, these comments are deeply misjudged. MPs had a chance to scrap this self defeating and destructive policy and they failed. While it continues families will struggle, pressure on housing stock continues, and in all likeliness housing benefit goes up as more people are housed in the private sector. It is shameful. The majority of people are opposed to this destructive and self defeating policy and its time the majority spoke up.”
If you think the Bedroom Tax is a reality, if you think its hurting communities and failing in its objectives, its time to say so. Please leave a reply below;
Kerry Pollard has been selected to be Labour’s candidate to be the next MP for St Albans.
Hundreds of local Labour party members overwhelmingly selected Mr Pollard to be the party’s candidate in St Albans at the general election in 2015 at a special meeting in September. Mr Pollard was MP for the city between 1997 and 2005. Before that he was both a County Councillor for St Albans South and District Councillor for Sopwell ward and has been a prominent campaigner and charity worker for decades.
Labour Party figures heralded the start of a big push to win back the parliamentary seat as party members queued down the street to cast their ballot in the party’s selection at Mallborough Road Methodist church in the heart of the city centre.
Mr Pollard ran a selection campaign promising to campaign on the issues that matter to people in the City: housing, local hospitals, local schools, Railfrieght, more sustainable energy and travel policies and a bigger emphasis for the city to encourage tourism.
Speaking to a buoyant local party after the result Kerry said;
Kerry said ” I am humbled, and a bit choked at the support that I have received today. I won’t let you down and together we won’t let St Albans down. I know we can do it, and we’re ready for the challenge ahead”
Roma Mills was returned as councillor for St Albans North and Dreda Gordon claimed The Colneys in a tightly fought race. Both seats were previously held by Liberal Democrats.
Across the county, however, it was the Conservatives who suffered most, losing 9 seats.
Newly elected Councillor Gordon said she was “absolutely delighted” with her win. “It was one of our target seats so we knew there was a possibility of winning it but there is still quite a lot of variables, for example when UKIP joined the race.
“Labour have held The Colneys before so we knew it was doable but we knew there was a lot of work to do.”
She added: “Labour will certainly be more powerful opposition then we have been before and I think that is healthy for democracy.”
Your Labour councillors are already working for local residents, arguing for a fairer deal from the Conservative controlled council.
You can find full details of the election results on the County Coucnil website.
Roma has been speaking to officers at the County Council to press the case against development of the lower field on Bernards Heath. The Council are planning to sell off the field along with the adjacent Ariston Works site. Roma is campaigning for the site to remain as a precious green space.
Roma has also met with local police officers to discuss priorities for neighbourhood policing teams, and pushed for action to tackle speeding and dangerous driving to remain high on the agenda. In particular, she drew the attention of the police to the concerns of residents about the situation on Beech Road, Marshalswick Lane and Sandridge Road.
Andrew Dixon and St Peters Labour team have called for the speed limit on Sopwell Lane and Albert Street in St Albans to be reduced to 20 miles per hour. After hearing numerous stories from local people about the dangers of speeding traffic on the streets and the frequent damage caused to parked cars, Andrew has lead a campaign to get the District and County Council to deliver safer street for residents.
Earlier this year Andrew presented a petition with 98 signatures to the joint district and county council highways committee calling on them to reduce the speed limit and protect local people. The issue will finally come up for discussion this summer and Andrew is keen to hear from all those local people who have concerns about traffic.
Responding to the demands of local people who are finding it increasingly difficult to park near their homes, the St Albans Labour Party has called on the District Council to abandon their piecemeal proposals for reform of the residents’ parking permit scheme and demanded that they conduct a full review of local needs. Branding the response from the Conservative leadership inadequate and out of touch with local people, Labour’s councillors and local community activists have said that they fear that a rare opportunity to help residents in the crowded city centre will be squandered.
“What we need, first, is a full review of the situation,” said Councillor Martin Leach, leader of the Labour group on the council. “The District Council leadership needs to take a proper look at what local residents and the community needs. They need to assess the real demand for parking space, the realistic amount of available space, the unique needs of each of the town’s areas and work out where and how more space can be created. In short, we need a long term strategic response not a half-baked scheme cobbled together withough paying attention to residents. What’s more, with the council due to begin drawing up a core strategy to guide planning over the coming decades, now is the right time to look at this. It may be many years before there is a better opportunity.”