New town is no rea­son to go ba­nanas

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

So doubt­less many of these prop­er­ties will be at­trac­tive to those priced out of Lon­don hous­ing ef­fec­tively be­com­ing zone 7 of the com­muter net­work.

This will not be the last of these big plans to come for­ward.

There will be huge pres­sure for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment – com­pa­nies at­tracted by the con­nec­tions and more rea­son­able land val­ues. Green fields – al­ready dis­rupted by the ar­rival of a new high speed rail line – will be swal­lowed up.

In re­ac­tion there may be protests from the NIMBY lobby, and in­deed the new BA­NANA crowd – build ab­so­lutely noth­ing any­where near any­thing – try­ing to stop the march of the bull­doz­ers.

But they would be bet­ter fo­cused on mak­ing sure the schools, public ser­vices and leisure fa­cil­i­ties are de­liv­ered along­side the new de­vel­op­ment.

IT was the last full coun­cil meet­ing be­fore the May elec­tion and there­fore of­fered the fi­nal chance for the soon-to-be can­di­dates to land a few di­rect blows on their op­po­nents.

These are al­ways fraught af­fairs, but with ev­ery coun­cil seat up for grabs rather than the usual third emo­tions were run­ning off the scale. With bins such a con­tentious is­sue fol­low­ing last month’s strike, it was no sur­prise that cab­i­net mem­ber Lisa Tricket came in for a bat­ter­ing from the Tory op­po­si­tion.

Labour had sought to dif­fuse the is­sue by com­mit­ting to weekly house­hold resid­ual waste col­lec­tions for four years, but the Con­ser­va­tives con­tinue to ac­cuse them of a ‘se­cret plan’ to make them fort­nightly once the prospect of a voter back­lash is out of the way.

So they are ef­fec­tively ac­cus­ing Labour of mis­lead­ing the public with a com­mit­ment they know will not be honoured. On the other side Labour have ac­cused the Tories of ‘fake news’ – mak­ing false claims about the stated Labour pol­icy. The ex­changes grew in­creas­ingly heated with bar­rack­ing, heck­ling and snorts of de­ri­sion greet­ing ev­ery speech. There were ques­tions about trust – when the ser­vice has been par­tic­u­larly poor in the last 12 months of strike ac­tion and re­or­gan­i­sa­tion – how could the lead­er­ship be trusted the Tory front-bencher Gary Sam­brook asked.

Cllr Trick­ett replied that the Tories could not be trusted when their cam­paign ma­te­rial was based on ‘lies’ about Labour’s plans for the ser­vice and com­plained that she was sub­mit­ted to greater level of heck­ling and abuse be­cause she is a woman.

This was too far for the Tories who com­plained – the coun­cil­lors can be as nasty as they like but call­ing some­one a liar is be­yond the pale... al­though it seems phrases like ‘de­lib­er­ately mis­lead’ or ‘fake news’ are OK.

Cllr Sam­brook was stung by the ac­cu­sa­tion of misog­yny and sug­gested that Labour bar­rack­ing which greeted his com­ments must be a re­sult of ho­mo­pho­bia. Asked to with­draw the com­ment, Cllr Trick­ett re­fused and the Lord Mayor sug­gested that the Con­ser­va­tives take up their com­plaint in another fo­rum while the rest of the meet­ing moves on. Thank­fully Con­ser­va­tive Deb­bie Clancy and Labour’s deputy leader Brigid Jones fol­lowed up with a calmer ex­change. Later on dur­ing the meet­ing Labour used their ma­jor­ity vote to cut short a fol­low up de­bate on the bins ser­vice, much to the an­noy­ance of the op­po­si­tion who sought to land a few more blows. Labour leader Ian Ward was ab­sent for the af­ter­noon, no doubt de­lighted that his di­ary had taken him to Cannes to sell Birm­ing­ham to in­vestors at the MIPIM con­fer­ence rather than put him­self through this.

The coun­cil­lors can be as nasty as they like but call­ing some­one a liar is be­yond the pale...

> Cllr Gary Sam­brook

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.