Your local councillors Ed Plowden Green councillor Windmill Hill
Gary Hopkins & Chris Davies Lib Dem councillors Knowle
uite a lot of confusion at the council with a huge percentage of the councillors being brand new to the job and the council systems being in a state of flux. It will be interesting to see how the new Green Party councillors react to being the joint largest group but having no power to decide anything. We're amazed that the Green Party leader complained in a speech about not having a cabinet place and how unfair it was. The Green Party in March voted to keep the mayor system and prevent a referendum but fortunately, plan B is going into action with people around the city gathering petition signatures that will trigger a formal vote - 18,000 signatures are needed. There is a huge number of key meetings on important local
issues between the writing of this article and publication including Jubilee, the new school and Broadwalk development. The centre is no longer in administration having been bought by a private investment company. They have re-engaged the designers who got the previous plans through outline planning permission but there are bound to be some proposed changes.
Broadwalk Shopping Centre
t was a surprise for many people that the much-loved swings in the Victoria Park play area near Fraser St were removed by the council without warning. This play equipment was considered by the council as surplus because since it was installed over 40 years ago there have been two new play parks provided. So, when it was assessed as the end of its life, it was not due to be replaced. Lisa and I heard the local concerns and took this up with officers and the Mayor. All agree that this was a mistake. We will be working hard with the council, VPAG and the local community to raise funds to replace them. Sadly, it may have to wait until next year. Meanwhile, we will be chasing progress of the new outdoor gym due this year.
More equipment is deteriorating - the seesaw in the Nutgrove Avenue play area has also been assessed as end-of-life. This equipment is due to be replaced, but there will be a disappointing gap during the school holidays. This time at least we have had some warning and notices are going up. During the pandemic we have realised the value of our open spaces and we are glad to see that the council has listened. As I write, we have just found that the pandemic restrictions will be extended for another month, so we must protect each other by getting vaccinated if you are eligible. The first dose improves resistance and the second dose gives stronger protection, particularly against new variants. You can book a slot online or when contacted by your GP.
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