In the Citizen today there is another article about the idea of forming a Parish Council for Kingsway.
The article came about when I was asked about my perception of hostilities between Kingsway and Quedgeley, to which my view is that there is some hostility, and quite rightly so, in that the local Quedgeley amenities are very stretched because of the lack of things on Kingsway. I know many Quedgeley residents resent having to wait for up to 2 weeks to get a doctor’s appointment, because the Doctors have such full lists, and that other issues are perceived as being based as having their roots in Kingsway. I think it would be naive to say there are no issues, but by the same token, it is not a raging war either. That is why we need to keep driving the
I don’t think anyone is in any illusion that this proposal will make the Precept disappear, and to my mind the proposal is not about if we pay a precept, its how that precept is employed for the benefit of Kingsway residents. If you look a the budget of Quedgeley Parish Council, you can get a rough idea of just how much Kingsway Tax money is reinvested in Kingsway. Out of the (approx) £350k budget set, the expenditure on the Kingsway Community Centre was about £11k (From the accounts). Kingsway does not pay for grass cutting, bin emptying, park maintenance or anything like that because its ongoing building work, and will not need to for the first number of years because of the sums paid by the developers to the Council for the maintenance. Therefore Kingsway residents are largely subsidising all the Quedgeley amenities, which are difficult for Kingsway residents to use because they are on the other side of the A38.
I think some people want to make out that this is some form of battle or “turf war”. What is not recognised is that this is not the first time the idea was pitched to me, and we decided the time was not right, but with the Boundary Review, then maybe the time is right.
We are now putting together an information leaflet, which details the Pros and Cons of what we are doing so people can make an informed choice, including financial modelling so everyone can make an informed choice, then we can move forward with getting the support, this is key. I really want Kingsway residents buy into the idea, or there is no point. Yes there is a minimum takeup required, but I think its only worth really doing if we get good support, not just the 250 required. There may be many residents out there that are more than happy (or just don’t care) that we come under Quedgeley Parish Council, and therefore are willing just to go on as we are.
I’m also keen to make sure we do not repeat any of the mistakes that Quedgeley seem to have made in terms of the respect it commands from other tiers of local government. I think it is important that the Parish proposition is about being a “last line of defence” but also able to work strongly with other tiers for the greater benefit of the community.
I think whatever happens it will be interesting, I’m certainly learning a lot more about how the local nuts and bolts of government works.
If you are a Kingsway or Quedgeley resident, what do you think?