At the end of a fortnight when the PR wheels have well and truly come off of the coalition Lib Dem – Conservative Government wagon it is difficult to ignore that the “manage the media” strategy of the Northampton Borough Council Conservatives has also now been shown as being lacking in substance.
Never more so than over the Bus Station PR and consultation which appears to be changing in emphasis almost daily which when you consider the amount of “their consultation is lacking” charges made by the Conservatives against the Liberal Democrats when they controlled the Borough makes you question where has and why has it gone so wrong.
One answer may well be that once the votes had been counted the electorate were considered to have done their job and are no longer relevant.
Across Northampton and the whole of the UK we are seeing and hearing of Conservative dysfunctional administrations who are now perceived as the party (with their partners the Liberal Democrats) of the rich, out of touch, self-serving and most damaging of all the charge that they are just not prepared to listen which is why it is absolutely right after listening to the public that the Borough Labour group will be calling for the Conservatives to honour their promise to hold a series of public meetings to discuss the Bus Station development.
The motion to go before the Northampton Borough Council in April is outlined in the press release from Lee Mason the Leader of the Labour Group.
Northampton Labour Group
++++++ PRESS RELEASE ++++++
(For Immediate Release)
Labour Urges Tories To Get Serious On Bus Interchange Consultation
Northampton Labour Group has submitted a motion to full Council demanding the Tories dramatically improve their public consultation on the Bus Station / Bus Interchange.
Labour has consistently said that the new Bus Interchange must be customer friendly giving users a safe, weatherproof and comfortable environment. The proposed Bus Interchange must match, at the very least, the facilities that are currently on offer at Greyfriars.
Some Bus Users have a number of good ideas about the proposed Bus Interchange that can meet their needs. Others Bus Users have some legitimate questions about the transition period. However, they are being ignored by a half-hearted and half-baked public consultation. This is totally unacceptable.
Therefore Northampton Labour Group is calling for the Tories to start taking the views of Bus Users more seriously and give detailed assurances that the proposed Bus Interchange will be fit for purpose and has adequate facilities. Labour wants to see a town wide public meeting where our citizens can have their say. A proper public meeting, we believe, must meet the following criteria,
– Such a public meeting should be widely advertised including posters in Greyfriars Bus Station.
– Advertising must start at least three weeks prior to the public meeting.
– The meeting to be held on a Saturday morning or afternoon in the Great Hall, Guildhall. A weekend means more people can come along and have their say.
– Open to all members of the public with seats allocated on a first come first service basis.
– Give a presentation by the Leader of the Council and take questions from those members of the public present.
Cllr Lee Mason, Leader of Northampton Labour Groups, says
“Some people feel strongly about Greyfriars and the proposed Bus Interchange but have not had a proper chance to question their civic leaders who are taking the decisions on their behalf. This is wrong.
If this project is going to be a big success then we need to listen carefully to what some people are saying. A well advertised public meeting at the Guildhall would go some way to help remedy some of the problems of the poor consultation by the Tories so far. I hope Cllr Mackintosh agrees to this and meets the public. We firmly believe in the Grosvenor / Greyfriars project but it cannot be undermined by poor public consultation by the Tories.”