A copy of a letter from Councillor Robin Parker Liberal Democrat SBC Group Leader questioning the existence of Steve Lowe, published in the Stevenage Advertiser 29th February 2012
I have never been sure if your weekly opinion columnist, Steve Lowe, is a real person with a distinct lack of knowledge, or a deliberately fabricated piece written under a pseudonym, with the aim of stirring up a response from your readers. Either way, I cannot let two remarks in his column (Stevenage Advertiser, 22 February, page 9) pass without comment.
He writes that he is not normally in favour of giving councils extra powers, then later “…..perhaps our local council, which does not seem to have much to do these days…..”
In fact, there are two local councils responsible for different services in Stevenage, which are Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council. If more powers are devolved to local councils by the government, then councils would certainly have more to do. Indeed, it is one aim of the government’s recent Localism Act that councils (and local residents) will gain certain extra powers and responsibilities.
Even without these extra powers, Steve Lowe is clearly unaware that both local councils are currently (and always) very busy and many officials and elected councillors (of all parties) spend a lot of time and effort on local issues. However, local news media, including the Advertiser, rarely attend meetings or report the issues unless it is handed to them on a plate with an anodyne official news release, which always gives the views of only the majority party. So, please do not confuse lack of business at our local councils with your failure to report it!