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Time to pull together
11:27am Thursday 11th October 2012 in Letters
Sir.–For some time, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been forced into a political battlefield, slowly stagnating.
With there now being no overall majority, the council could grind to a halt. This would be a disaster with Basingstoke trying to escape recession.
A few years ago, you may recall we were under no single party control for many years and alliances needed to be forged. At that time, I proposed a radical “Rainbow Alliance”, taking the best of all parties to form a forward-thinking active council.
I am not naive enough to believe this could happen with many of our councillors hamstrung by political dogma and fear. But what we could do is take leading moderates from all sides to form a policy forum, led – I would suggest – by ex-council leader Councillor Andrew Finney, someone who is trusted by all sides to a greater or lesser degree.
The essential work needed to get Basingstoke working could be fast tracked, where there is no disagreement, the most controversial elements ditched, and common ground agreed on the remainder.
Without much greater cooperation, we, the residents, will be the poorer.
The Local Plan is one area that could divide the council for months, if not years. May I suggest they hold a local referendum to ask the residents to decide where housing will go to avoid political stagnation.
It’s time for grown-up politics.
–Phil Heath, St Michael’s Road, Basingstoke.