Cllr Paul Westley and Cllr Hemant Rae Bhatia have been working for you as your elected councillors for several years. They have now joined the local Conservatives to continue their fight for the ward and its residents. A strong local campaigner Hazel Orton also joins them to form a strong and dedicated team which will continue to serve you.
Our Achievements so far
- Regular surgeries at the library
- Acted quickly on anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping issues
- Strong community links, supported communities and local foodbanks during the Covid pandemic and worked with the NHS to set up local vaccination hubs
- Worked on resolving parking issues (some still in action)
- New bus shelters, benches, refurbishing access to small shops, new internal ceiling for Barleycroft Community Centre, new bins and ramps for wheelchair and pushchair access
- Took-up hundreds of individual casework, majority on housing issues
- Supported the residents on a petition against the local plan and took up other issues with the council
- Invested in several community projects, and supported community events with ward funding
- Helped the local organisations support youth provisioning, skills & employment programmes
- Installed three automatic defibrillators across the ward
- And much more…
Why we have joined the Conservatives...
After deciding that we could no longer serve in the Labour party under Peter Soulsby we had three options:
- Do nothing (and not stand again) - We strongly felt that we should not be cowed down in such a way and must continue our fight for the ward
- Stand as an independent - This wasn’t practical given the logistics and funding you need to really make a difference.
- Look for an alternative - Find another party that would support us in our endeavours and have a similar or common manifesto that matches the ward’s needs. On that front Local Conservatives stood out.
We have not taken any decision lightly and have discussed matters at length with many supporters and local people. Thankfully, a large majority of people support our stand as protecting the ward and people's interests is paramount. Hazel Orton, a strong local grassroots campaigner against the Local Plan has now joined us too. This speaks volumes. This also proves that this isn’t about an ideological choice, but is all about fulfilling the objectives of the ward, serving its people, and delivering the common good.
What has changed now and why?
There are many issues that the City Mayor and his executives were unwilling to listen to or help address them.
- Local Plan - is being pushed to build upon pretty much every green patch that’s available within the ward, especially taking up 75% of Beaumont Park for industrial development leaving nothing for our people, kids, pets etc. to enjoy peaceful open space.
- As part of this Local Plan, the city council also wants to put another travellers' site right in the middle of Beaumont Park close to Beaumont Shopping Centre.
- They plan to connect Anstey with Beaumont Centre by constructing a new bus only road that would cut through Castle Hill Country Park just behind Blue Gates. They will spend over a million pounds on it to save 2-3 minutes of journey time! Is that the kind of investment really worth it, while destroying our preserved country park and wildlife?
- They are also putting a Park & Ride next to the police station taking out all that green patch. No proper consultation has taken place on that too.
- In 2019 the ward was allocated just £28k out of large Section 106 monies from a sale of land that the council did on the Ashton Green site, which combined with the ward community fund that we allocated asked to be utilised for children’s play equipment, table tennis, football etc. in the most deprived parts of the ward like Upper Temple Walk, for example. We are now in 2023 and still, nothing has been progressed. Why? Because City Mayor’s team has shown no will to support our ward.
- Then there are still hazardous pop-up cycle lanes on Beaumont Leys Lane that the deputy mayor is unwilling to remove despite repeated representations to do so. They want to make them permanent.
- Excessively long bus lane on Groby Road is causing havoc every weekday especially during morning rush hours. They didn’t listen to anyone although 81% of the residents were against it as per our consultation data.
- The executive team on Housing mismanaged the District Heating scheme and ended up paying exceptionally high sums to a private energy supplier. So, to compensate for that budget deficit they reduced the housing maintenance budget for our area from £200k to just £13k. That is an insult - for the type of work we need to get done to our social housing here this amount is peanuts. We have a large number of residents on social housing.
- Parking issues on Bennion Road, Croft Road and a few other places have been dragging on and the highways response to our requests has been slow. Potholes and other smaller maintenance work also remain slow/unattended. And we have waited for six years to get a 20mph on Stokes Drive!
Finally, with many such things, the lack of having any real voice as an elected councillor (unless you were part of the executive team) became unbearable. In the end, when there was an opportunity to vote to remove the mayoral system, we supported that. The motion was defeated 32-20 and we were deselected as punishment along with 19 other councillors.
Our commitment to you:
- Protecting Green Cover – Beaumont Park, Castle Hill Country Park and other green areas from Local Plan
- Continue Supporting Our Communities, Young People, Skills and Employment – putting you and your families first
- Strengthening Local Services and Resolving Housing and Tenancy Issues - especially Social Housing - Active Engagement of Agencies on Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour and Fly Tipping - ensuring cleaner surroundings
- Resolving Parking Issues, especially around hotspots
- Work to get a new bus service from Ashton Green/Glebelands to Beaumont Centre and beyond
- Scrapping the Mayoral System