Friday, 1 March 2013

Putting life in Frodsham

In a rather dull budget debate last night one of the issues that Labour chose to highlight was Members' Budgets.  I won't repeat what I've recently blogged about - if you want to read all about Member's Budgets just dig out my missives from February.  However it is clear that there is something of a disagreement about them between the parties.

For Lynn and me in Frodsham those members' budgets (small in comparison with what FTC could spend) and positively tiny when compared to CWaC's budgets can go a long way to make real differences in the community.  

Those member's budgets have brought/leveraged amongst other things for us;

Highway improvements - Kingsley Road/Bradley Lane Zebra Crossing Improvement; speed reduction on the A56 - the extended 40mph zone; double yellow lines for Marsh Lane; and a balance of funds to help FTC lever more highway improvements
Support for the Christmas Festival, the Festival in the Park, the FCA's Downhil Run;
Several schemes for our Scout and Guide Associations, the Army Cadets and Youth International as well as the Youth Association and the Model Car Club
Frodsham Foundation
Bereavement Support
Play Group supports and improvements
Soon to be 8 public access defibrillators in Frodsham (including one for each primary school) - and an additional one in Helsby High School; 
Localised winter gritting anywhere in Frodsham where there are volunteers - and a gritter for Helsby High School; and
the page Lynn and I take in Frodsham Life.

Labour's Cllr Tickridge chose to attack the page in Frodsham Life as a particularly poor example of members' budget spending - she criticised it for supporting a private company.  It is a shame she hadn't done her research a little better - if she had she would have found out that Frodsham Life was: 
  • started with public funding from the old Frodsham Forward (that was supported by Labour);
  • that it is a good way to communicate with the people of Frodsham - as it supposed to be delivered through everyone's door.
Without Frodsham Life we wouldn't have had a cost effective way of bringing to everyone's attention things such as:
  • meetings about the Swing Bridge and other highway matters;
  • changes to speed limits;
  • changes to bus services;
  • details of how to apply for grant funding;
  • details of how to get your home insulated;
  • news about public access defibrillators;
  • updates on gritting etc etc
  • events etc
The list goes on.  It also supports a magazine that helps us all communicate about Frodsham and see what a wonderful place it is.

So when you see just how far the small amount of money has gone just bear in mind that Labour doesn't agree.  Perhaps we shouldn't have localised winter gritting, nor public access defibrillators etc.
Incidentally Cllr Frank Pennington thanked Lynn and me effusively at FTC on 25 February for the way in which we had administered the grants money and made sure that the greatest number of people had benefited from it.