Last Monday I began the week at the Highways and Transport Consultation organised by portfolio-holder Councillor Morely. The meeting was a useful opportunity to participate in the council’s feedback processes and to gain a greater insight into their anticipated priorities going forward. I look forward to continuing to engage with others across all parties where necessary to secure much-needed improvements across the ward, in particular on the bus services in Netherton.
On Tuesday I paid a visit to the Citizens Advice Bureau on King Street www.wakefielddistrictcab.co.uk for a meeting to learn more about how the charity is preparing to support new claimants of Universal Credit. It is important not just to residents of my ward, but also to people all across Wakefield that those who need the most support are given the right kind of help and I was encouraged by the determination both of volunteers and board leaders to ensure that people are given good, reliable advice on debt, poverty and consumer rights.
Wednesday saw the full council meet to discuss important budget proposals for the coming year. It was disappointing to see Conservative amendments voted down despite being fully costed; which would have helped to reinvigorate our high street by introducing free parking to make it easier for people to visit; which would have supported carers across the district with lower National Insurance contributions in recognition of the significant contribution they already make to others as carers; and which would have released the funding to repair more than 5000 potholes which have been blighting road users of all sorts for far too long.
Sadly this week I was reminded all too strongly of the length of neglect of our road infrastructure, especially in rural parts of the district, as I heard of the tragic passing of one of the ward’s most vocal residents about this issue. Despite having campaigned for the road outside his house in Middlestown to be resurfaced after waiting 47 years, he sadly did not live to see this happen. My thoughts are first and foremost with his family at this time, however I hope that this terrible story will help to sharpen some minds in the council as to the chronic disrepair suffered for so long by so many in the ward.