Saturday, October 25, 2008

The difference between opposition and "opposition"

The Northern City Centre Action Plan came to full council this week for debate and vote - a full 6 years in the making. One of the interesting points that has come across in the media was the Green amendment regarding the road system around Anglia Square. What happened was that both the Conservative and the LibDem groups spoke against the transport part of the proposal but recongised the strenght of the overall plan - and thus voted against the Green amendment and for the whole plan. We have been attacked for doing so. So let me explain.

The hardest thing in politics is where the plan ABC contains A and B that you agree with and C that you don't. How do you vote? Are we willing to sacrifice A and B, and all the time and effort it has taken to get to this point, over the issue of C? Clearly the Greens were but both the LibDems and Tories weren't. So to make our point known, 2 Tory Councillors - Collishaw and Fisher - spoke for the overall plan and against the one aspect. And so we give the plan support but highlighting an issue we disagree with. I think that's a pretty responsible way of doing business. If we ever believe that C's problems outweight the advantages of A and B then we would vote against; but this wasn't one of those times.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Breaking my habit of not reading your blog having being told what your had said about last council I have to agree with the comments that the three sensible parties managed to express reservations about the Northern Area action plan with balance and good sense and then voting in the interests of the city. Interesting that the three sensible parties have all track records of running things and taking responsibility. Hence they know they have to know how things work and playing games won't do when real decisions need to be made.

Green councillors however seemed not to understand what the consequences of their actions were, or did not care. Just how far they are prepared to go in pursuit of narrow interests despite the damage to could do to the crucial investment we need in the city is of real concern.

Your other entry about the airport makes the point well - though I don't agree the debate did not 'take off'. The Greens showed themselves adept at quoting stuff they find on the internet and seem amazed that others can spell 'Google' too. However there are other websites to be considered and peoples lives to be taken into account rather than just deep green dogma. I wrote to both Adrian and Rupert on both these issues - to say their responses, or lack of them is illuminating would be an understatement.