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CRESTED NEWT BLASTS WDC

PLEASE READ THE DOCUMENT PREPARED BY BLAST AND SENT TO ALL WARWICK DISTRICT COUNCILLORS PRIOR TO THEIR VOTE ON OPTIONS FOR GROWTH
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OUTRAGE OVER GAGGING ORDER PDF Print E-mail

The Courier has run a series of letters deploring the government gagging of local counciilors who have expressed support for our Campaign.

Read more here 

 
RED TAPE GAGS HOUSING PROTEST PDF Print E-mail

Believe it or not (and it is difficult to believe!) Councillors who have supported our campaign to save allotments have been GAGGED. In our 21st century democracy (and apparently by government decree) any Councillor who has supported our campaign has forfeited the right to speak at any council meeting on the subject.

For the full story click HERE and please write to the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
BLAST DELIVERED 454 SIGNATURES TO WARWICK DISTRICT COUNCIL PDF Print E-mail
On Wednesday 4th March 2009 in Leamington Town Hall BLAST presented the Welly Walk Petition to the full Warwick District Council Meeting.    
We were given three minutes to present the petition and here is part of what was said:

"We therefore urge Warwick District Council to stick to its policy of protecting the Green Belt, as set out in the local plan, and say No to developing or building on Leamington Allotments or Green Belt.

Councillors, please remember these allotments have been around since the First World War, regularly dug and planted for nearly a hundred years.    During this time these plots have received loads of love and attention with the soil being continuously worked and enriched to a fine tilth that can produce the finest crops. A large road through our allotments ends its growing life/and kills it dead/for future generations/forever.

The road would drive through to the Green Belt – land that has grown food and been farmed since Saxon times. Land that could not be destroyed by the Danes, the Normans, Oliver Cromwell, not even by Adolf Hitler but this land could be destroyed by developers and their bulldozers building on it.

This Petition has been signed by nearly 500 supporters whose signatures were collected on the Welly Walk in November, around the allotments or on line through our website and is in addition to over 800 signatures presented to the Town Council after the Wheelbarrow Walk last summer."

After the presentation the Leader of the Council, Councillor Michael Doody proposed that as this was such a serious issue it should be taken up with the Executive for detailed discussion, Bill Gifford, Leader of the Liberals, accepted this although we had hoped that a vote and decision would have been made at this meeting. However at the end of the meeting many of the Councillors congratulated us on our campaign and promised their continued support in the future and we thank them on behalf of all our members, their families and our supporters.

We are now preparing a document for presentation to the Executive for their meeting at the end of March when we hope they will follow Royal Leamington Spa Town Council and oppose any development on Leamington Allotments or Green Belt in North Leamington.

A big 454 thank yous to everybody who supported and signed this latest petition. We will continue the fight and will call on your support again.

 
BLAST CHANCE TO SIGN THE PETITION PDF Print E-mail

Sign now we are presenting the results in early March - more than 400 so far have signed either on or off line

WE NEED YOUR SIGNATURES TO BLAST OUR VIEWS TO WDC!

 
WMRSS GETS A BLAST IN WOLVERHAMPTON PDF Print E-mail

WMRSS GETS A BLAST IN WOLVERHAMPTON

Geoff Southgate and Gillian McGivern on behalf of BLAST went to Wolverhampton on  27th January 2009, to attend the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy Phase 2 Review Preliminary Meeting, and you will gather from that title that we found it a very hard going atmosphere, full of very self important government types, smarmy developers and far too much government speak!    Geoff and Gillian certainly didn't feel that the ordinary man in the street was represented by that lot but we must remain, as we say, positive!

The key thing we got out of this meeting, was that any submission we make must be examined by the 'independent panel' whose findings will be given in report form to 'the Minister'.   We were led to believe from other small independent pressure groups that if there is no mention in the report of our submission (regarding allotment protection, provision and green belt in North Leamington) which was sent in last autumn during the submission process, subsequently WDC can say they are NOT obliged to do anything because we 'are not mentioned in the report'.    We will endeavour yet again to make sure that our submissions are noted AND examined, to which end Geoff has emailed the Panel Secretary who has replied that our email has been submitted to the Panel Chairman - see link to meeting minutes below.

Geoff did put a question to the Chairman, Alan Richardson, who was a very pleasant man. explaining that although he couldn't speak their planning language in simple terms he wanted to request that allotment provision and protection etc need to be included in the 'matters to be examined’ as outlined in our submission, particularly as the national waiting list for allotments is said to be 100,000.    He thanked Geoff and noted his question so it should be in the Minutes.    The Chairman then asked the Director of Policy for the WMRA, Mark Middleton, for any comment on Geoff’s question to which Mr Middleton replied with an emphatic 'NO' -  which we felt summed up the WMRA’s attitude to allotments and why allotments  are not mentioned in their report.  This comment from Mr Middleton will be recollected and repeated many times over the next few months by BLAST.

We got the impression that Mark Middleton and Ian Smith (Govenment Office for the WM) had already made up their minds, in fact the Chairman specifically asked ‘are the Government's points, made in other areas discussed, a directive' to which they replied 'no it was for consideration' (big yawn all round).

There was one person there from 'Warwickshire' - Andy Cowan, who we believe is a Senior Officer at Warwickshire County Council.   He made the point that when they come to examine Coventry, Warwickshire and Middle Quinton that these should be separate sessions because Warwickshire will be receiving extra attention!

Phase 3 of this revision is planned for 2010 when it could all change - that is the Regional Assembly -according to the Chairman and he said that in regard to my question that it may be more relevant to Phase 3.     This could mean that no decisions will be made for years to come - perhaps we'll be too old to dig by the time a decision is made but we will still campaign for the next generation.

There will be a series of Examination Days during March – June and we will attempt to attend those relevant to BLAST and our supporters.    Please contact us if you can offer any pertinent information or advice for these future meetings.

The link for the Minutes of this meeting can be viewed on the following link:

http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk/pins/rss/west_midlands_phase_two/documents/WMRSS_Minutes_First_Prelim_Meeting_27_Jan.pdf

 

 
BLAST ATTEND MEETING ON FUTURE PLANNING PDF Print E-mail
BLAST ATTEND MEETING ON FUTURE PLANNING
 
BLAST attended a Leamington Town Council meeting on Tuesday, 13th January discussing the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for which we were asked to give our comments and questions.  For those of you who haven't yet read the SPD (which is available from www.warwickdc.gov.uk ) it basically covers future planning in the district for home building, the criteria being for every 10 - 100 houses planned green space and allotments would be provided and if space not available a cash sum would be given to the council by the developers.
 
Bill Gifford, leader of the Town Council, welcomed our comments and strongly supported us during our discussions.
 
The areas agreed were:
 
1.  A map would be produced of the district featuring all green spaces and allotments
 
2.  The council would be prepared to work with allotment societies to form committees to plan and run future new allotment space
 
3.  Any monies given to the council in lieu of space would be spent on buying future allotment space
 
4.  We said we were very happy as allotment people to take new allotments 'under our wing' and help them get started
 
None of this weakens our continual fight to keep, protect and maintain our existing allotments or allow the council off the hook on allotment provision for our existing waiting lists.   
 
An interesting figure to bear in mind if you remember one allotment should support 4 people with fresh fruit and veg, we have 27 societies in the district and that roughly works out at 10,000 people being fed from allotments so we are collectively very important and the councillors all recognise this.
 
NEW VEGETABLE SEED COMPANY PDF Print E-mail

Take a look at: www.originaltouch.co.uk

who are a new company specializing in genuine, first generation vegetable seeds from across Europe including Italy, France & Spain.

 
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