richard pierce

richard pierce

12 February 2019

RIP Gordon Banks - the goalkeepers' union

Goalkeepers

It’s always like this.
The last line of defence,
The final cliché.
We are the ones who suffer.

Even in victory,
Each weakness, misjudgement,
Is sentenced a callous on our selves,
And in defeat
Ours is the honour called to task.

We are the guardians of the grail,
Keepers of spirit and soul,
The mysteries of the game,
Always carrying guilt and glory
In our bootbag.

30 January 2019

Why Your YES Vote Matters - In Plain English

Currently

Planning applications go to the Parish Council and Mid-Suffolk District Council (MSDC).
The Parish Council makes recommendations on planning applications.
MSDC is not legally obliged to act on the recommendations of the Parish Council.
MSDC is under great pressure from central government to build lots of houses.
There are many landowners who wish to build houses in this uncontrolled way.
MSDC will likely approve many of these developments even if locals oppose them, and even if the Parish Council recommends they shouldn't be built.
The village receives a maximum 15% of the Community Infrastructure Levy.


NO Vote

The above continues to apply, with the resulting rapid expansion of the village with no real regard for the view of villagers, nor with a regard to the increased load on road, sewage, doctors' surgery (to name but a few).

Some misguided soul has (probably illegally) defaced a planning application opposite Doggetts saying that if you vote No, the planning application will not go forward. This is untrue. The above current situation will still apply.

YES VOTE

If the referendum decides YES, the Neighbourhood Development Plan comes into effect immediately.
MSDC will be legally obliged to adhere to the Neighbourhood Development Plan, and will not be able to approve any big housing developments not in the plan.
Any planning applications which have not yet been assessed or approved will be decided on the terms of the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
The village will directly receive 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy.

By voting yes, you guarantee sustainable housing development, increased income for the village. You decide the future of the village for the next twenty years.

VOTE YES IN THE REFERENDUM ON 31st JANUARY. It makes sense.

28 January 2019

Stradbroke Neighbourhood Plan Referendum - Private Profit or Public Benefit?

Before we're asked to take part in the People's Vote (and yes, it will come), there's another referendum where we're being asked to answer the question I've asked above. And it's on Thursday 31st January 2019 at Stradbroke Community Centre, with polling open from 7am to 10pm.

You've seen me write before in opposition to untenable and frankly destructive planning applications (all past articles on this), and on my support for the current Neighbourhood Plan, because I believe that sustainable gradual housing development is better than rapid uncontrolled housing development which will put impossible pressures on Stradbroke's amenities and infrastructure, not least the doctors' surgery and the roads.

As we have seen in the past, many of the planning applications have been put in by those seeking entirely to profit from them even if it's to the detriment of the village. Many of these applications have even gone so far as to include affordable housing to increase the likelihood of Mid-Suffolk District Council (MSDC) passing them, only, once approved, to remove in its entirety the affordable housing from the plans. Make of that what you will - I call it corruption and self-interest.

MSDC is under huge pressure from central government to find land supply for at least the next five years, in other words to find places for people to buy houses because the populations continues to expand. Without a Neighbourhod Plan, these houses could be built any old where if MSDC approves them (which they will, under pressure from government, estate agents, and landowners). With a Neighbourhood Plan, MSDC can only approve houses on the sites in the Stradbroke Neighbourhood Plan, sites which have been voted on and approved by those who went to the various consultation events on the Neighbourhood Plan, and those who went to the trouble of reading the Neighbourhood Plan online and commenting online. The selected sites have been selected by consensus. If you vote for the Neighbourhood Plan in the referendum on 31st January, you will have put this village in control of it own destiny, in control of the pace and intensity of development, and MSDC will have to follow your instructions, your Neighbourhood Plan.

Unfortunately, there is a group of "concerned residents" in Stradbroke who are opposed to this Neighbourhood Plan, who this time have managed to find space on their misleading (and probably illegal) leaflet to put their names on it as the fonts of all knowledge (sic; inside joke; add Spartacus to that), and are calling people to an information meeting on either Tuesday or Wednesday before the referendum (supposedly an open meeting). I think there is a deliberate intention there to obfuscate and confuse Stradbroke residents. Please remember this is the group which put out a poison pen letter of a leaflet in April 2018 which met with the disapproval of almost the entire public meeting at which it was discussed. These people have no interest in democracy.

The referendum on 31st January 2019 is a simple majority vote referendum. This means that every vote counts. This means that your YES vote could be the winning vote. And when you're thinking of how to vote ask yourself what you really want. And take a walk down Neaves Lane and then multiply the mess down there by 14.

YES TO THE PLAN = PUBLIC BENEFIT
NO TO THE PLAN = PRIVATE PROFIT (and not into your pocket either) AND CHAOS