After ignoring the Town for some years, we have finally had a postcard from the Labour party, suggesting that Hampshire County Council would be better run by Labour Councillors.
Somewhat controversially, the Labour candidate describes Totton as the “Cinderella” of the New Forest”.
It’s a hard message to sell. They only have four Councillors at Hampshire (out of 78). So it is hard to see that voting Labour will make any impact after May 4th.
The questions posed on the postcard are :
“Why has Totton been failed by HCC ?”
Answer – It’s run by the Tories, who Labour help prop up in power by standing against the main opposition, Lib Dems.
“Why is Hampshire ready to build hundreds of homes in the area and how many will be Council homes, or for rent?”
Answer – “Hampshire doesn’t build homes. Housing is nothing whatever to do with HCC. Planning is a District Council function. Private developers will be building the homes. (It is embarrassing that a Labour Councillor does not know this).
“Why does 71 pence of every pound of council tax go to HCC and only 5p to the Town Council ? (we need the money spent here to provide roads and a modern shopping centre)”
Answer – Again, crushingly embarrassing that Labour don’t seem to know that HCC funds the big, expensive things like education, public health and adult services, waste disposal, highways. It would be HCC that funds any upgrade to our road network, not the Town Council. A modern shopping Centre would be privately funded and be nothing to do with any of the Councils.
“Why was Totton’s redevelopment plan, drawn up 10 years ago, never progressed ? It was the local Councillor’s fault…”
Answer – Actually, HCC did all the necessary work, including engaging consultants to do the designs and public consultations, but the money to progress the scheme was never forthcoming from the (then) Labour government.
And finally.. “Why have some parts of Totton have no bus service after 6pm and rural services are fragmented” ?
Answer – Both Labour and Tory governments have supported policies that keep the buses in the hands of private companies, who decide when and if to run services. Councils have no control over such matters. It’s worse now that few services receive any subsidy and are only run if profitable (as a result of council cut backs).
These folks are the questions that the local Labour party insist are answered… and are now answered.
Only the Liberal Democrats can provide serious opposition to the Tories on Hampshire County Council.