Ringway "still failing" says councillor

Malcolm on Damaged RoadNewly re-elected LibDem county councillor Malcolm Cowan says main contractor Ringway are still failing Herts residents.

He says "Several months ago I reported the start of Ayot Green Road, over the motorway, as needing resurfacing due to the vast number of potholes. Instead, and after a long delay, Ringway have applied patches to the worst of the holes. Many of the smaller holes have been missed, the road looks like it has got chicken pox due to the number of patches, and perhaps worst of all, they failed to sweep up the vast amount of stones that had been unearthed from the potholes.

"These stones could be lethal if a car or lorry caught them and sent them flying. I got Ringway to promise to pick up loose stones and gravel when they carried out work, at a recent Highways and Transport meeting at County Hall, but they have either forgotten or decided not to bother."

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Former long-standing Conservative councillor is backing LibDem Malcolm Cowan

Dennis Lewis, former long-standing Conservative councillor, is backing LibDem Malcolm Cowan in the Handside and Peartree county council election. He says

"Although I was a Conservative councillor for many years, I shall be supporting Malcolm this year because he has done a good job and is passionate about improving standards.

He cares as passionately about the town as I do."

Malcolm Cowan says "I am very pleased, proud and honoured to have Dennis's support. He has worked hard for WGC for nearly half a century and is widely respected in the town. I know from going round, that many other Conservatives take the view that my work deserves their support."

Herts Highways "Beyond a joke"

Paul Zukowskyj in a potholeWhilst the attached picture might be quite amusing, the situation on Welwyn Hatfield's roads is way beyond a joke. Hertfordshire is in danger of becoming a laughing stock due to the appalling state our roads are in.

Conservative-led Herts Council Council's Highways Service, led by Welwyn Hatfield's own Cllr Pile as cabinet member for highways, are simply failing to deliver even the most rudimentary service. Holes are left unrepaired. Lights remain unfixed. Accident damage to street furniture is rife and streetsigns that look more like vertical lawns remain uncleaned. Cars are being damaged by potholes and a flood of claims is being received by County Hall on a daily basis.

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Council Tax Freeze reply letter to John Dean and Grant Shapps

Dear Sir

It is all very well for John Dean and Grant Shapps to boast about freezing council tax, which we supported as necessary given the freeze in many people's incomes. But it is only half the story.

Services have been cut by both borough and county councils.

The borough still

  • fail to take any action to stop the destruction of our grass verges
  • they have reduced the number of grass and hedge cuts
  • reduced tree budgets
  • cut planning staff so there is less enforcement
  • reduced grants to the voluntary bodies that do so much good

The list goes on. And of course the borough's budget shows a major deficit every year - hardly the mark of a well-run council.

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Councillor's Claim "Simply Untrue"

Stop incineratorAn election leaflet from Cllr Pile has claimed that he has 'stopped the incinerator in its tracks', whereas the plans are simply on hold until the planning inquiry in September.

All residents are urged to ignore the claim and continue to support Hatfield Against Incineration (HAI) and the New Barnfield Action Fund (NBAF), especially financially, to stop the incinerator.

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When will my footpath get fixed?

Broken pavingLiberal Democrats have revealed that at current progress, Herts County Council will repair your footpath every 136 years.

Cllr Malcolm Cowan who did the analysis from official HCC data said "We knew that footpaths and footways were the poor relation but we didn't know until the this week how bad it was."

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Clegg: Spread the word - we're delivering a stronger economy and a fairer society

Nick Clegg (Photo by Dave Radcliffe for the Liberal Democrats)Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has closed the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Brighton by calling on members to spread the message of the Party's commitment in Government to deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society.

In his keynote Leader's speech, Nick paid tribute to the work of the Party in winning the Eastleigh by-election, beating the Conservatives into third place and squeezing Labour while campaigning on the Lib Dem record of delivering in Government.

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County council £22.7m underspend

MoneyReaders who saw in last week's WHT that Herts County Council is expecting to have a surplus of £22.7m must be wondering how that money could be used - money which they gave in council tax expecting it to be spent on services, rather than being used to prop up long-term capital projects.

Luckily, the LibDem opposition had plenty of good ideas on what to do with the surplus, which is a one-off, to improve people's lives.

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Press release tidal wave from HCC

Out-of-touch Conservatives running Herts County Council have launched an attempt to drown local media in unwanted press releases.

The Liberal Democrat opposition highlighted over 2000 press releases on locality budgets sent out in less than 3 years, at the budget meeting of the county council, and pointed out that most local newspapers and radio stations have said they don't want them.

The Tories hit back in the only way they know how - by sending even more, clogging up inboxes across the county. 22 came out the next day, then a record 62 the day after.

"We know virtually no-one reads them - why waste money producing them?" said LibDem councillor Malcolm Cowan.

Special Educational Needs not being properly addressed at County Hall

Councillor Mark Watkin, the opposition spokesperson for Education, challenged Frances Button, the executive member for Education to explain how services for specific groups such as high achieving children with autism who cannot cope with schools will be addressed. She failed to do so, instead she repeated the standard response that they could either attend a Moderate Learning Difficulty School, or have home help or attend a mainstream school, none of which will adequately meet their needs.

"What parents of such children have pointed out time and time again is that there needs to be a special unit or school where these children can be educated. The new scheme for providing Special Needs Education does not allow for this", stated Cllr Mark Watkin. "There could be hundreds of such children across the County but they are submerged under the needs of larger groups who receive all the funding."

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