Thursday, 4 April 2013

3 Public Meetings in the west today

A Football pitch, free transport to school, and the Halton Lea Gate open cast mine were the topics for discussion at 3 meetings today.
First up I met the mums, dads and assorted locals who are doing so much to support football for boys and girls in Haltwhistle. I went to the training afternoon on a blustery cold day and saw the raw love for the game shown by everyone there. Our goal going forward is to improve the very limited facilities presently on site. I hope to to organise a meeting with County Council [who own the land] officers shortly; it is clear that there is a way forward whereby
- the local community get opportunities to have more football teams / better facilities and sport for their community,
- and the Council retain ownership, and the chance to attract business to the site which adjoins the A69.
I have no doubt the 2 ideals can co exist, although the devil is always in the detail.
Then on to Halton Lea Gate where I met locals concerned about both the open cast mine and the council proposal to refuse to pay transport costs to local schools.
The news on the open cast is positive, as was explained in a near 90 minute meeting, and everyone present was incensed at the school transport decision. I am pleased to say the school transport consultation does not end until April 24 and many locals have agreed to write in and lobby the County Council. It is a thoroughly unjust and misguided proposal.