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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Nun of the above

Have agreed to stand for Oakham Town Council - North East Ward - as an independent candidate. It is important that we have proper elections and bring democracy and public service back into local politics. I am a supporter of Martin Brookes and truly believe that the local parish Council should be about service to the community.

Lately some very silly behaviour has been tolerated at local parish council meetings and I have been pressured to stand. I have decided to accept the nomination primarily because I think democracy demands we have elections, not co-options of mates.

I would like to campaign for better public transport services locally. It is ridiculous that we do not have any buses out of, or into, Oakham on a Sunday and that trains only run after 12.45 pm. There are no buses after 5.40 pm from Peterborough on any day of the week either. This prevents local people, without their own transport, seeking work outside the County. If elected I will undertake to make strenuous representations on behalf of the less well off, who cannot afford their own transport, to be better served and have more employment opportunities.

I will campaign for more openess and disclosure of information to local people. The concept of accountability seems to have bypassed the Town Council. It is reprehensible that so much of the correspondence to local Councillors is marked 'Private and Confidential.'

I am concerned that restoration of the bandstand is likely to cost over £30,000. If a proper restoration job were being undertaken we would be using collyweston tiles, not cedarwood tiles which will probably rot within a relatively short space of time. I also notice that the wooden boards, protecting the bandstand site, have cost thousands of pounds and will be taken down at the end of work. Could we not have used secure and relatively cheaper wire security fencing, rather than paying outright for boarding which will be taken away at the end of the work and presumably recycled by the builders with no financial benefit accruing to local tax payers.

I will also campaign to remove the 'designated area' that the Town Council have voted to enforce on the whole of Oakham.

It was bad enough that local Councillors, some of whom have now resigned, felt able to boast of making Cutts Close a 'designated area' - yet felt no sense of hypocrisy when taking wine bottles to Cutts Close to listen to the Band during festival week. Laws, when they are brought into force, should apply to everyone equally. There does appear to have been a 'them' and 'us' mentality locally. It is about time locally elected representatives understood that they are there to represent and serve their electors and not selfishly exploit their personal positions.

I stood at the last General Election as an Independent candidate and many people suggested that I stand under the tag 'None of the above.' Rather tongue in cheek, since I lead a rather modest life and attend church regularly, I have decided instead to stand as 'Nun of the above.'

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1 comment:

  1. Well done Helen, I like the way you speak so freely.

    I hope Councillor Lucas is looking forward to working with you. I just hope your not a lesbian or you might have to sit on the other side of the room at meetings


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