31 Dec 2009

New Year's Revolutions

At this time of Resolutions, new or otherwise, when people are wondering what they might do to make improvements in their own lives, let's take the pressure off. It’s not just individuals who have the ability to make changes for the better; our elected representatives have the power to do the same – much more power than we do in fact.

With that in mind, here's a top ten of Revolutionary Resolutions that our beloved local Council could adopt, to spread a little happiness amongst its citizens in 2010?

1. Be a little more modest. Stop spending time and (our) money on self-promotion. For example, the Chief Executive seems to spend most of his time telling us how brilliant the Council is. So why not abolish that position, and save us £150,000 a year?

2. Create protected Business Zones to support struggling local/independent shops and services.

3. Demand that the new Westminster Lodge proposals include solar power, to save a fortune on energy bills as well as reduce C02 emissions.

4. Appoint an energy-saving champion to oversee all aspects of Council activity, making savings in the most straightforward ways.

5. Require all new large housing and business developments to be highly resource-efficient, to minimise their impact on the existing community as well as making them cheaper to live and work in.

6. Raise the proportion of affordable housing to 50% in new sites, so key workers can afford to live here.

7. Honour the legal requirement to create more allotment space, so schools, groups and anyone who wants to can grow their own food.

8. Create a Warm Zone programme: following other councils’ example, working with energy companies to provide free insulation to houses, phased in according to need.

9. Commit to sourcing as much as possible of the Council’s own supplies and services from the local area, and use the Sustainable Communities Act to favour local firms.

10. Get behind the idea of a 20mph limit for all residential streets, for huge safety improvements and a host of knock-on benefits, and put pressure on the County Council to implement it.

Happy New Year!

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