Clarification of two items in the Comet for 7 April may help your readers.
You report in the article Council is slammed despite cuts in allowances (page 5) that a local business organization is critical of the level of councillors’ allowances on Stevenage Borough Council. However, the Comet has never reported the fact that, at the council budget meeting in 2009, and again in 2010, I proposed that Stevenage borough councillors’ allowances should be cut by 10%. Only the three Liberal Democrats voted for this and we were defeated on both occasions by all the Labour and Conservative councillors present voting down the idea.
When, in 2011, the other parties belatedly agreed a 5% cut, the Liberal Democrats naturally voted for this, but in my budget speech I did make clear that, if I had been listened to earlier, the council could have saved up to £50,000 by 2011 – possibly enough to avoid some of Labour’s recent cuts, like Museum opening hours, play provision or Dial A Ride.
Secondly, your article Residents’ anger at parking ‘nightmare’ (page 7) reports that some local residents have concerns about contractors’ vehicles for the Nobel School redevelopment in my borough council ward and county council division. As the local councillor, I had already taken up these concerns, and others, with planning officials and the developer (Balfour Beatty) and have obtained a contact number for the public who have questions or comments about problems caused by the development. I have circulated details round the area at meetings and in my newsletter, but if any residents did not see this, the contact for them regarding the Nobel redevelopment is Richard Gould at Balfour Beatty on 07970 343588.