Labour’s councillor candidate for Newtown, Dave Baker, was out today (16 June) with a team of Labour activists helping to clean up the ward. In a community clean-up session, Labour’s team spent the morning picking up litter that had been discarded along London Road.
Labour activists clean up Newtown
That follows earlier action by Labour to arrange for rubbish elsewhere in the ward – such as a discarded sofa in Lamplighters Close – to be removed.
“The litter and rubbish that accumulates in Newtown, especially over a weekend, is a huge problem for local residents,” said Dave Baker. “The council should be doing better than this – people pay their council tax and they expect their streets to be kept clean.”
Dave Baker, Labour’s councillor candidate in the Newtown by-election on 27 June, is demanding that a car wash on Shenley Road is closed down immediately.
Residents are outraged that the car wash is still in business despite failing to meet planning conditions, and following an enforcement notice from the council. Dave Baker has written to local residents in Shenley Road to offer his support and to explain that he’s pushing the council to act to get the operation closed down as quickly as possible.
Dave Baker says no to the Shenley Road car wash
Labour councillors all voted against the original application to set up a car wash on the site - which is in a residential area and which is making an already difficult local traffic situation much worse. The operators, however, won an appeal against the council’s decision to refuse permission but then failed to begin operations within the required timescale – leaving it in breach of the conditions attached to its permission to operate.
“This site on Shenley Road is the wrong place for a busy car wash – it’s noisy and it’s causing massive traffic congestion,” said Dave Baker. “I don’t understand why it’s taking so long to get it shut down and I’ll be pushing hard to get it closed as soon as possible.”
Labour members joined Newtown residents on Saturday morning (15 June) to demonstrate against the heavy vehicle traffic, dirt, dust and pollution being generated by the Winchesters yard waste transfer business – located on Little Queen Street.
Newtown residents say ditch the dust
At the well attended event, residents and Labour activists held placards demanding that the yard take steps to “ditch the dust”. Dave Baker, a local resident and Labour’s councillor candidate at the this month’s Newtown by-election, joined the protestors – although the Tory’s candidate chose to stay away.
“This entrirely residential area is simply the wrong place for a facility of this kind and it’s really making life hard for the people who live near it,” said Dave Baker. “The Tory council, and the local Tory councillors, have given up on this and, if I’m elected, I’ll make finding a solution a top priority.”
Tom Maddison, county councillor for Dartford Northeast, has brought this new county initiative to our attention. “Cycling is a great way to keep fit, and with the success of British cycling there’s no time like now to get the bike out. This is the kind of thing councils can do to help local residents”:
Dust off your bikes and get cycling – that’s the message being given to Kent residents who can take advantage of free, guided bike rides this summer.
Kent County Council has teamed up with British Cycling and Sky to bring a series of ‘Sky Rides’ to the county. The bike rides will be guided by friendly British Cycling Ride Leaders along scenic routes in Kent – including the Viking Coastal Trail, Thanet and around Mote Park in Maidstone – and are completely free.
With different levels, there’s a ride for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge.
Trained British Cycling Ride Leaders will be on hand to guide the way and give valuable tips on cycling techniques and improving performance.
David Brazier, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment who will be getting on his bike and taking part in the rides, said:
“With the summer looking like it has finally arrived, I’m urging all residents – from novices to cycling enthusiasts – to get out on their bikes and enjoy the good weather while it lasts!
“These rides are great fun, especially with friends and family, and take in some really beautiful parts of the county. It’s a brilliant way to stay active, stay healthy and enjoy the British summer.”
The rides are part of a nationwide ‘Sky Ride local’ campaign to get thousands of people cycling this summer. For more information and to book a place, visit: http://www.goskyride.com/SkyRideLocal
Sunday 21 July – Princes Park to Podium
Start location: Outside Pavilion by car park at Princes Park Grassbanks DA1 1RT
Sunday 4 August – Dartford Park Circular
Start location: Healthy Living Centre St Edmunds Road DA1 5ND
Sunday 11 August – Princes Park to Podium
Start location: Outside Pavilion by car park at Princes Park Grassbanks DA1 1RT
Sunday 1 September – Like a rolling stone
Start location: The Nucleus, Brunel Way DA1 5GA
If you just want to ride independently, a map of Dartford’s cycle routes can be found here
About Sky Ride
Sky Ride Locals are bike rides guided by friendly British Cycling Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes. With different levels, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge. Find out more at goskyride.com .
Sky is British Cycling’s principal partner from the elite level including GB Cycling Team and Team Sky, to grass roots, encouraging people whatever their age or ability to get on their bikes and have fun.
About British Cycling
British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists’ interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 74,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling. British Cycling was named Governing Body of the Year at the 2013 Sports Industry Awards. Visit the British Cycling website.
Newtown’s residents must wonder what Darftord’s Tories are up to. In the ward’s forthcoming By-Election on 27th June, they’re planning to call themselves ‘Local Conservatives’ on the ballot paper – despite the fact that their candidate doesn’t actually live in Newtown! So, not really a ‘Local Conservative’ candidate after all.
The Tories have tried something like this in Newtown before – and residents ended up with a Conservative councillor who resigned after barely two years in the job. It also looks like an attempt to disassociate themselves from Conservative policies – a tactic that won’t wash with local people in Newtown. Residents are well aware of what the Tories stand for in Dartford – a town centre in decline, cuts to police numbers, a failure to tackle important local issues such as parking, and the threat of a second Thames crossing being forced upon Dartford.
Newtown deserves a councillor with a consistent track record of working hard for local residents, year after year, on a range of issues – the Labour candidate and Newtown councillor until 2011, Dave Baker, is that man. Dave lives in Newtown and will campaign on the issues that really matter most to local residents and which have been neglected for too long by the Tories. If elected, Dave is committed to taking action on Newtown’s parking and litter problems and will hold the Tory-run council to account over having failed our town centre.
There is only one local candidate for Newtown on 27th June – Dave’s your man!
Following last Saturday’s successful listening campaign in Newtown, the Dartford Labour team were out in the town centre today (25 May), seeking residents’ views on Dartford. As in Newtown, our approach was simple – we asked what people liked about Dartford and what they’d like to see changed.
Our team received a enthusiastic response and a number of common themes began to emerge. For instance, it’s clear that local people value the market – which continues to draw in a great many visitors, as does Prospect Place. While Dartford’s sense of community was praised and Central Park was highlighted as a much valued asset for the town.
But, with rows of boarded-up properties on Lowfield Street and empty shops across the town centre, the state of the town was a big concern for most of the people questioned. The ” wrong kind of shops”, as one passer-by put it, is seen as a major problem – meaning that the town is perceived as having too many pound shops, charity shops, bookies and high-priced lenders, instead of more mainstream retailers – such as Marks & Spencer. Poor bus services and relatively pricey parking, compared to other nearby centres, was also mentioned by some, as was a lack of clarity over the future of the Co-op site. Several people also took the opportunity to emphasise their strong opposition to the possibility of locating another Thames crossing in Dartford.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be continuing our listening to Dartford campaign – with the view to working with local residents to help deliver change in our communities. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your views.
Following the resignation of one of the Borough councillors for Newtown, Labour has selected David Baker as its prospective candidate, trying to win back the seat he held from 1991-2011. Dave is well known as a community campaigner, regularly walking the area and picking up on the detail of problems.
Dave Baker plans to campaign on the issues that really matter most to Newtown residents and which have been neglected for too long by the Tories. That will include the acute parking problems which afflict much of the area, as well as the state of the roads in some parts of the ward. But he’ll also focus on wider issues – such as cuts to local police numbers and the pressures on Newtown’s commuters from above inflation rail fare hikes.
At the selection meeting last night (23 May 2013), Dave said: “I really want the chance to represent Newtown again. I feel I’ve got a really good idea of what needs doing; all the things that have been neglected recently.”
“I’m proud to be given this opportunity, and hope that people in Newtown will choose me to stand up for them. I’m always here to listen and have been doing so even without being a councillor – passing on problems to the Labour group on the council.”
Last Saturday, the Dartford Labour team were out in Newtown. However, this wasn’t the usual campaign session. Instead, the team embarked on the first of a number of listening campaigns – sessions designed to give residents the opportunity to express what it is they value about the community they live in, or to highlight any issues or concerns they have.
What’s it like to live in Newtown? If you could change one thing about living here – what would it be? We received an enthusiastic response and heard a wide variety of answers. We’ll be working closely with residents over the coming months in order to identify areas where we can work together to effect change in the community. If you are a resident of Newtown but we didn’t get a chance to say hello on Saturday – we would still love to hear your views. You can contact us via the website.
The Dartford Labour team will be running the same session next Saturday – this time in Dartford High Street. Come along and tell us about what you really value about living in Dartford or alternatively, let us know one thing you would like to see change. If you can’t make it down on Saturday – you can still let us know your views by email – email@example.com
“About two million Brits live, work, study or are retired in other EU countries. Over 800,000 of them are estimated to reside in Spain alone; over one million if you include those who sojourn there for just part of each year.”
● Brits in Spain outnumber the Polish in Britain – but
what will happen to them all if the UK exits the EU?
This isn’t part of UKIP’s story. Nigel Farage was interviewed on a Spanish radio station for British expatriates, and could no real answer to what would happen to Britons abroad if we pulled out of the EU.
The case for membership isn’t being heard in the mainstream media. Award winning journalist Jon Danzig outlines here the real truth about EU membership, in contrast to the smears and falsehoods coming from many areas of the right.
He exposes a number of myths:
“Europe is undemocratic”
“We’re run from Brussels”
“A&E waiting lists are the fault of immigrants”
“Foreigners are flocking here to use our NHS”
“We’re about to see an invasion of Romanians and Bulgarians”
“EU law gives all EU citizens an unconditional right of residence”
“EU migrants are automatically entitled to claim benefits”
Meanwhile, UKIP’s crude populism seems to be pressurising the Tories into evermore extreme, if vague, anti-eurpeanism. Peter Skinner MEP, Labour’s representative in the Southeast, comments in this video:
We are all trying to get our heads round the new globalised world, whether that’s about changes in manufacturing practices, about movements of capital or international taxation; about the rights of working people in the face of attack; about environmental change or disease transmission; even about global travel or international holidaying. What is self-evident is that pulling up the drawbridge and pretending it’s 1955 has no place.