Opposition Business Speech
Thank You Mayor,
The Eastern District is part of the new town planned for the London overspill. It was first designated in 1968 and built in the 1970s. It is not a traditional part of historic Northampton. It is the home to many communities such as Southfields, Goldings, Lings, Thorplands. It shares some of the features of Milton Keynes in that the housing stock is of an age where it is in need of heavy investment and renewal. Features of the design, once thought progressive and exciting are proving to be a problem. The specific need of these communities is falling far short of what is acceptable. The aesthetic planning design of the 60s\70s has led to crime and anti-social behaviour being planned in, not planned out.
The neighbourhood plan is a shining light of hope when compared to the council’s neglect.
The Eastern District council tax levy is one of the highest collected in Northampton. It is one of the most disadvantaged areas and has the least spent on it by the council.
The open walkways are an issue. There are no CCTVs in residential areas. Only for commercial properties. Lack of detection leads to rat runs for vandals, dumped litter, arson attacks, graffiti artists, broken windows, lifts and sides of houses being used as toilets.
Lack of council investment in community centres has undermined the voluntary effort of local people committed to making the Eastern District a good place to live. Residents deserve better than overcrowded schools, poor bus services, parks over-run by unlicensed motorbikes, vandalism and a lack of services. Recycling centre hours are now restricted. For people without transport there is little help offered by the council except to charge a large fee for removing bulky waste.
The lack of free school meals in the holidays is a serious issue for some children. Doctors' registers are too long and appointments are hard to get.
Robina of Brookside complains of unpruned trees and shrubs reported many times to the council where vandals hide and use airguns to shoot at cars and passers by. The police have been involved but the Council is not.
Brenda of Southfields complains of a blocked drain which has not been cleared for the last two years – the same in Wade Meadow Brookside –she is a victim of being passed from pillar to post between NBC, NCC, and Anglia Water. The issue has been left unresolved.
It feels to the residents that nobody cares – these people are paying Council tax and deserve a better service
Roy of Streambank complains about lack of parking spaces and the emergency services being unable to attend their destinations because they cannot get through.
Andy and other local people of Southfields, Billing Lane have endured speeding vehicles crashing into back fences, noise and mud from heavy lorry traffic from new building sites using the lane and still the speed limit has not been reduced
Crestwood road suffered similarly until at long last a traffic island was installed slowing speeding cars.
There is a consequence of having no second permanent traveller site in Northampton. A main problem is rubbish left by that community.
Footpaths are littered after grass cutting because they are not cleared. An additional hazard is the way is strewn with shards of jagged cans because cans are not cleared before the grass . They get cut up and left lying around.
Alan of Booth Meadow complains of the eye sore of derelict garages.
Do I need to go on!! The Eastern Districts are paying highly for a very poor service. They feel neglected and unfairly treated by both councils and rightly so.
We need a wholesale regeneration scheme for the area. This will of course include implementing the Neighbourhood plan. There are structural issues that need our attention and investment. When that happens we will see a flourishing of community, community cohesion and well –being.