For the second time in a few months Frome has had the galling experience of an ‘inspector’ deciding that against the recommendations of both the Town and District councils, large scale housing should be dumped upon us. Not just any housing, but high density crap with minimal investment in the town.
There are many reasons why this is wrong, but the most galling is that David Whatsit (the last prime minister) launched his Localism initiative by saying “…we must take the power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street”. The potential movement of power to local communities was part of what created Independents for Frome. But the reality is constant centralising of power which will make it impossible to attract and keep good competent local councillors – in the words of one yesterday “why did I waste all my time at those meetings”. (And for the often consulted and continually ignored woman and man in the street “why not stick it up ‘em and vote Brexit/Trump”).
On top of the planning nonsense come plans to cap local ability to raise taxes. Ideologically driven, this will stop us potentially raising small additional amounts of money from Frome to spend on projects in Frome agreed by the people of Frome. So how, with services collapsing by the day, are we meant to encourage local volunteerism (councillors are volunteers) or fund the things desperately needed at a local level? I see Passport to Pimlico coming next (1.10secs into the clip).