Local issues

Our rural communities are under real and imminent threat.

Hertfordshire is a beautiful County, and a lovely place to live, but due to mismanagement by our Conservative dominated council, many problems are arising and many unwanted changes are coming our way.

 

 ● Housing: UKIP accepts that we need more housing in our region, especially affordable housing for local people. However, East Herts Council have planned to totally transform our area with a massive housing boom:

 - Up to 4,700 dwellings to be built at Bishop's Stortford. 2,600 of these on the 'Areas of Special Restraint' to the North of the Town. Our Conservative Councillors voted to release this land in 2008 - something that they would rather you didn't know!

 - Up to 3000 dwellings west of Sawbridgeworth

 - Up to 1,700 dwellings in Hertford

 - Up to 5000 dwellings to be built near Hunsdon

 - Up to 2000 dwellings at Buntingford

 - Up to 900 dwellings in an around our rural villages

 - Up to 10,000 dwellings to be built north of Harlow

Unfortunately our Councillors have made no provision whatsoever to cope with the huge impact this will all have on schools, traffic, parking, health facilities and jobs. Why is this? Do we want our rural area to be transformed into a single sprawling built over area?

 Schools: The secondary schools in Bishops Stortford have no spare capacity, yet the town is due to expand massively under EHDC plans. The building Consortium have offered to build two primary schools as part of their plans for 2,600 homes in Bishop's Stortford North, but no provision whatsoever has been made for secondary school pupils.The same problem is arising in Hertford and Ware with the Ware Town Council warning that they need three primary schools and a new secondary school to cater for pupils in this area - and that is BEFORE the planned building spree takes place.

 ● Health: Local Health facilties are under increasing pressure, especially so with the loss of Accident and Emergency treatment in Bishop's Stortford. Local surgeries are full, and have increasing numbers on their lists who are non-contributers to the Health service. Immigration has taken its toll on hard-pressed facilities and this problem is only going to grow with the opening of our borders to even more poor nations in January 2014.

 ● Diminishing town centres: Excessive commercial rates are killing our high streets with the town centres of Bishop's Stortford, Hertford and Ware slowly less and less apealing to local shoppers. With limited and expensive parking making the problem worse, local shops are closing down to be replaced with counless charity shops, coffe shops and little else other than estate agents and banks - hardly an appealing mix to shoppers. What are the Council doing about this growing problem? Nothing!

Ware High Street

              Sign in shop window - Ware High Street

 ● Immigration pressure: Our area has increasingly become a magnet for immigration, and this puts a real problem on our services - services that YOU are paying for. Primary school places in particular are under pressure due to immigration, and many of the pupils new to this country don't speak English, meaning more costs in support and translation services. The authorities are also under obligation to house all the people who come into the UK seeking a better life - how many of the new houses planned in our area are being built just to cope with immigration pressure? There is  the added problem of the UK borders being opened to all Romanians and Bulgarians on January 1st 2014 - something 85% of the UK population have said that they do NOT support. These are desperately poor countries and people living there who are offered a home, a Health service and full benefits in the UK - to which they will be entitled - are without a doubt going to arrive in big numbers. With very good links from Stansted to both of these countries, how many will arrive in our area looking for our support?

 

Our Conservative dominated Council has for far too long ignored the wishes of local people and run OUR Council as their personal fiefdom. Any dissenter in the ranks is deselected as a Tory candidate and loses their seat, so no one speaks up for residents who they are paid to represent. It is time for a change. In 2015, we can vote out of office this self-serving bunch of self-important Councillors and make a real change to the way our area is run. Please join us to help make that happen.