Saturday, 26 November 2011

New Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and By Election

A new era has started at Buckhurst Hill Parish and I wish the new council the best. I know they will try their very best to work on some of the problems. Obviously work for 4 and eventually 6 will be tough over the next few months because of having fewer councillors around to share the load, for which the Lib Dems should be ashamed. I also know it would take a while for possible co-options to take place so we will have to wait until May for a full council again.

In the meantime there is the chance for a possible By-Election in Buckhurst Hill West on 22nd December 2011. We do not want this as we see it as expensive, too near to Christmas, and an extra load on electoral services at Epping Forest District Council. We are working to make sure we avoid a By-Election.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Lib Dems leave Buckhurst Hill in the lurch

Now the entire Lib Dem group have resigned from the Parish Council and as yet we do not the full reason why. We do know, however, that they have nearly destroyed the finances of the council, they bought the Woollard Centre, laudable though it was, at great expense, had no plan on how to get the money back, and as it is it barely breaks even. They had no imagination of how to take things forward, they had run out of ideas, were increasingly out of touch and also secretive. We now have a situation where Buckhurst Hill East only has one councillor representing it out of five, and Buckhurst Hill West has three out of six. There will be by-elections in West for two of those seats but the rest are vacant and as we are so near to the next election we cannot have by–elections. The new Tory administration should co-opt to share load and be true to the statement of running the council on a bi-partisan basis. The Lib Dems should have stayed and faced the electors next May but they chose not to.

Monday, 14 November 2011


It was recently announced that two councillors on Buckhurst Hill Parish Council have resigned over employment issues. Joyce Darby, who was chairman of the Council from 2009-2011,  and Angela Cass both had served for 3½ years from 2008. Their resignation was the only honerouble action available to them following an employment tribunrel  ruling that had gone against the council, yet again. This is a devastating blow to the Lib Dems and comes after a whole catalogue of problems. Last year a Lib Dem Parish Councillor defected on separate issues. The finances of the Council are under severe pressure: the Woollard Centre, bought  (plus refurbished) by the Council from Essex County Council for £275,000, and it will cost £1million after loan repayments, is barely breaking even and the Roding Valley Hall is in a similar poor financial state and possibly more employment issues have yet to emerge.

 The accounts for the Council have not been made public on the website for three years. It appears the Parish is out of touch and presiding over a whole heap of problems of their own making. Recently, in these tough economic times, the Parish voted to increase the hall surcharges up for non locals, believing it would both turn off non-locals using the hall and at the same time encourage them to cough up the increased fee. Really?? It has to be mentioned that the one Tory at the meeting went along with this. It is symptomatic of the confusion on the Administration. They also decided on a maintenance matter by going for the much higher  of two quotes, and this was after negotiations.  Again all  Lib Dem/Tory councillors present voted this through. It is clear that the Conservative-Lib-Dems both locally and nationally cannot be trusted to look after the issues and concerns of ordinary citizens. We need a Green voice on the Parish council and soon. I am glad as I go out and about that more and more people say they will be voting Green next May.