County Councillor’s Report

(First published in the Highley Forum January 2021 edition.)

Happy New Years all round.

Well, we got here, eventually, but by golly what a trip it’s been, uphill all the way to get to 2021, let’s hope it’s now a steady, even run and that cresting the hill after the uphill bit doesn’t lead into it all going downhill because, for sure, there’s a lot of change on the way and not all of it for the better.

Covid aside, on the Shirehall front, until we’re sure about the impact of the vaccine on re-opening business as near as possible to normal, with the local elections still – as far as anyone knows – scheduled for May, whether the talked about changes to the way the county council runs will still happen is in the hands of the gods.

As I’ve said in earlier articles, the various statements of intent that have come from the Shirehall Executive need to be considered in the light of events that have happened in previous years, especially because we’ve seen earlier policies completely overturned by a change in personalities at the top proving, as always in politics at any level, that even a week is a long time in politics.

But it’s what is happening at a national level that will see us impacted the most, especially the proposed changes to planning legislation. Within days of your reading this article a survey will be dropping through your door asking for your opinion on “affordable housing” in a scheme called ‘Right Home, Right Place’, what it won’t tell you is what worries me the most.

We already know that we have a lot of local people desperate for an affordable house, a better house, no argument there, an affordable house is a good thing, what isn’t always so good is the place where such houses are built, the 20 affordable houses behind the telephone exchange being a case in point. With an access opening onto a bend in the main road just along from the brow of Benn’s Bank, the children from those 20 family homes will be heading for school across a stretch of road generally acknowledged to be one of the most dangerous in the village!

In response to my pleading for the safety of those children, the planning committee placed a condition on those 20 houses stating that they should not be occupied until a suitable crossing point has been established. The developers have been given the go ahead to start work despite there being no crossing point and none in prospect. Logic is there none!

Looks like fingers crossed for 2021 then.

Dave Tremellen. January 2021.