Cliff Brewer's Blog
Councillor Cliff Brewer serves on Stourport Town Council and is a former Wyre Forest District councillor. He has been Mayor of Stourport and is currently President of Stourport Rotarians. Cliff has lived in Stourport since 1998 and works tirelessly for the local community in roles as a school governor and a representative on official bodies.
Cliff writes here about important issues.
The Single Site that's not a Single Site 19th August 2018
Local residents may remember the justification offered by the Conservative-run district council for spending £10million on building Wyre Forest House (above). It would be a "single site" from which all of the council would operate. Staff would be able to function at maximum efficiency by being located near to all their colleagues.
Actually, this vision did not come to fruition. The council's fleet of public service vehicles, the workforce which uses them, and the officers who manage Operational Services continue to be based at Green Street. Now they are to be joined by staff from Wyre Forest House, the justification being - efficiency!
48% of the floor space at Wyre Forest House, the council's "headquarters" building, is now let out instead to private occupants. Trying to make a virtue out of this strategic blunder, the Conservatives brag about the income derived from renting out half the building. But their claims can't hide the facts : £10million has been spent on a "single site" that patently is not a single site.
District Council Elections May 2018 – Cliff says:
"I would like to thank everyone that voted for me at the recent Wyre Forest District Election. Although not successful we have made inroads for the Labour party in the Mitton Ward which we can build on at next year's election.
Again, a big thank you to you all."
Election Campaign Feedback 28th April 2018
In previous articles, I have reported concerns about speeding vehicles and traffic management. In this article, there is a further focus on road-related issues which Labour colleagues and I have come across as we have talked to people during the 2018 election campaign.
Highways drainage is a problem in various parts of Stourport. In town, the flooding at the Villeneuve-le-Roi Gardens side of the Vale Rd/Lion Hill/Mitton Street pedestrian crossings has been reported to Worcestershire County Council on two recent occasions. Also reported are the problems at the junction of Moorhall Lane and Lickhill Road, at the Dunley Road/Rectory Lane junction, and on the Linden Avenue-Hermitage Way footpath running behind the Walshes Community Hall.
Of course, potholes are found everywhere and we have made numerous requests for repairs. However, we recognise that the “blob of tar” solution is insufficient. Unfortunately, it will only be replaced by better-quality road surfacing when the 8-year squeeze on council spending ends ... and that will require a change of government!
Complaints about bus services continue. In addition to the inadequacy of the major bus service provider, a more general concern about the service network has arisen. With reference to poor service, we are hopeful that Labour’s pressure will lead to a Public Enquiry. As far as an interconnected network is concerned, one area of town which was already poorly served, Bewdley Road, has suffered a further reduction after a decision to re-route via Lickhill Road. My colleague, Councillor Rob Lloyd, who leads for us on this subject, has questioned the reasons for the change. We will support him in his further work to try to provide a better service, one which will serve all the community.
A Living Wage 28th March 2018
Official statistics show that Wyre Forest, including Stourport, is a low-waged area. Apply this fact to the debate about numbers entitled to free school meals which featured in last week's Shuttle.
It means that many parents in our neighbourhood who are in full time employment do not earn enough to provide basic family needs. They have to rely on state benefits and free school meals to make ends meet.
To me, it is shocking that, in the sixth richest economy in the world, the UK, full-time employment does not guarantee a decent income.
Nationally, the Labour Party has radical plans to redistribute income. And locally, Labour is proposing a Work Charter with local businesses and trade unions. One of its aims is the payment of the Living Wage for full-time employment.
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