Time for a Fresh Start on Sutton Coldfield Town Council

Sutton Conservatives have now published some of their plans for Sutton Coldfield Town Council on the assumption they are returned with a majority of the 24 seats in May. What they fear is to have to work with non-conservative councillors to agree what is best for the town as a whole and all its residents. I have worked through their proposals and made a few observations

“Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservatives have pledged to continue to work for the good of the community ahead of local elections on May 3rd and have urged residents not to allow “a cynical coalition of chaos” to bring higher taxes to the Royal Town. (THIS IS A BLATANT ATTEMPT TO  MISLEAD THE ELECTORATE FROM A FAILED ADMINISTRATION) 

The Conservatives will be launching their manifesto shortly, something that the coalition will be unable to do. Some of the plans include increased powers for the Town Council, ensuring that more decisions which affect Sutton Coldfield are made in Sutton Coldfield. Some of the plans include

  • Returning the management of Sutton Park to Sutton via the Town Council (Needs to be agreed with BCC and that requires a positive working relationship)
  • The appointment of Town Rangers to clean up the Town (Has been requested many times by residents and blocked by the Conservatives who would rather spend the money on Consultants)
  • Improving transport links and driving improvements to the Town Centre (Part of HS2 Transport Hub programme which will happen irrespective of whether the Conservatives have a majority on the new Town Council
  • Securing a long term future for our Library and Archives (With substantial help from Folio)
  • Working with SCART and Birmingham City Council to secure a long term future for our Town Hall
  • Set up a £10,000 ward fund, supporting community organisations at a grass roots level (What about the disparity in Ward sizes under the new boundaries? This will penalise Vesey and Walmley & Minworth)
  • Ensuring over £1 million is invested in Sutton Park as part of the Commonwealth Games legacy (And how exactly do you propose to achieve this?)

It has been almost 24 months since the Town Council was formed (Despite Conservative opposition) and in that time it has successfully led on a number of key initiatives including the Concerts in the Park, a huge community event which attracted thousands of residents into Sutton Park for a weekend of world class entertainment. (At a cost of £90,000 to the precept payers who if they also bought tickets paid twice and subsidised non residents!) The event is set to be repeated this year with tickets selling fast and opportunities being offered to local young people to gain experience in various roles. (Still subsidised to the tune of at least £53,000 from the precept payers) This great event was almost derailed by opposition councillors joining together to play politics. (If wanting residents to be consulted on the format for the concert and its costs before commissioning the CBSO again was wrong – guilty as charged)

The leader of Sutton Coldfield Town Council Simon Ward said “We have always said that we wanted the Town Council to be a real positive for our Town (NO YOU DID NOT UNTIL AFTER THE REFERENDUM WHEN THE RESIDENTS VOTED FOR A NEW TOWN COUNCIL – PRIOR TO THAT IT WAS ‘A PIG AND A POKE’ TO QUOTE ANDREW MITCHELL.)– we are the level of local government that is closest to residents – we take that responsibility very seriously. We have delivered a number of community projects which have benefitted residents but have been continually attacked by opportunist opposition councillors who claim to rise above politics whilst doing the exact opposite.  At every turn they have played politics when we are simply trying to do our best for our Royal Town and reassert our unique identity.” (Meaningless gobbledygook and an attempt to smear non conservative councillors)

Since 2016, under a Conservative administration, the Town Council has also delivered improved play facilities for local kids, (Apart from Boldmere when you spent £3000 on a consultation and then ignored the result because Councillor Passey wanted the playground on ‘Mossy Bank’ and the residents didn’t) played a pivotal role in the saving of Sutton’s library, delivered improvements in road safety in key areas of the Town, (????) worked with residents in Falcon Lodge to develop the first Community Plan (Lets ask the residents of Falcon Lodge about that) in the Town as well as supporting local good causes with over £100,000 of funding and just last week launching an exciting campaign for Britain in Bloom here in the Royal Town.

All of this has been achieved whilst delivering a 3% cut in the council tax precept in real terms. (Rubbish you dare not increase the precept as with £2,000,000 in reserves the bank after 2 years we really ought to start a petition to demand a rebate due to being overcharged)

Speaking about the first 24 months Simon Ward said “We are ambitious for Sutton Coldfield and I am incredibly proud of the initiatives that we have led on. We are not professional politicians, we are a group of local volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, who are passionate about our community. We have delivered in so many areas (Residents need to examine the 2018/19 budget and look at how the conservatives want to spend the precept and then decide if these statements are valid. but we know that we have so much more to do and are restless to deliver. (Provide we can hire consultants at vast cost to do the work) We are determined to continue to give value for money for residents whilst delivering services and initiatives that benefit our community.”  We will continue to work alongside all stakeholders (Like you are working with the Police and the Chief Constable concerning the future of policing in the town) to deliver these basic Conservative principles for our Town –reflecting the overwhelming views of our fellow residents. (40% of them do not agree with you but are unrepresented)

Local Conservatives have welcomed the news that Labour, Independents, Lib Dems and Greens will be forming a coalition at the upcoming elections on May 3rd, ensuring that it is a straight choice between a Conservative plan or no plan. (When the new council is formed if no one group has the majority an agreed programme that is best for the town will have to be agreed – RESIDENTS WORKING FOR RESIDENTS)

Simon Ward added “The choice on May 3rd is very simple. a Conservative led Town Council with a sound plan, delivering value for money and a better Royal Sutton Coldfield OR a coalition of political opportunism which has pledged to spend every penny of taxpayers’ money, including substituting for services that Birmingham City Council should be delivering, without having a plan for the Town Council and involving double taxation of local residents.” (This is very similar to the disastrous ‘REMAIN CAMPAIGN’ that the conservatives ran for the EU Referendum – Will they never learn, take the electorate for granted at your peril – we may be foolish occasionally but we are not stupid.) 

The towns MP Andrew Mitchell said “Under the leadership of the Royal Towns Conservatives, the Town Council has made a great start. Don’t let Labour and their friends ruin it.” (From an MP who was a government minister during the Coalition Government – which I for one think worked better than what we have now – not to mention the DUP deal this is outstanding hypocrisy.)

Can’t wait to see the rest of the plans, hopefully they will be an improvement on these which have more holes in them than a sieve.

2 thoughts on “Time for a Fresh Start on Sutton Coldfield Town Council”

  1. Hopefully the conservatives will get in cus we don’t want Labour we need labour out of Birmingham hopefully they could do better would-be good for us to find out Birmingham council isn’t very good at spending our money.

    1. Thanks for your comment Hillary, the question of control on Birmingham City Council is a separate issue, personally I feel that we should move to a system of proportional representation for all tiers of local government. That would ensure that everyone has a voice. The ‘First Past the Post System’ is too divisive and does not promote social cohesion.

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