Friday, 8 February 2013

Open Letter to Alok Sharma - Residents Parking - The Facts
Alok Sharma is attempting to raise his profile in our part of the world. Content for the past three years to keep his head down and do nothing for the people of Reading West, he has suddenly realised a General election is not far off.
Desperately seeking anything he can claim as his in order to demonstrates his effectiveness as our MP, he has resorted to borrowing from the Labour Party. Devoid of ideas he has put his label on a piece of work he had no hand in. Over the coming months we will seek to demonstrate why we are asking the question. Is Alok Sharma the worst MP in the country?
Councillor Hacker Has written to Mr Sharma pointing out the error of his ways:
Dear Mr Sharma
In reference to your recent ‘report back to Battle Ward’.  I was surprised to see you claim credit for persuading the council to:
  • Increase the number of free books of visitor permits to households located in a permit parking zone from one to two.
  • Begin issuing visitor permits, valid until 10am the following day, rather than 8am.
  • Look favourably upon, and within reason grant, requests for allocation of visitor permits above the total official annual allowance of seven books per household.
I am sure you will recall that the changes you claim to have reversed were brought in by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition council in 2010/2011.  You did not object to these changes when your Conservative colleagues on the Council were making them and you suggest the changes were not properly consulted, presumably by the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition?
Only at a later date did you object to these changes AFTER the Labour controlled Council had already reversed the unpopular and unfair changes to the residents parking scheme by increasing the number of free books of visitor permits to two and pledging to return the 10am cut off time once the existing stock of permits has been used.
As a Labour council we have listened to residents and made the changes they asked for when we were back in control of the council.
We have also recently re-affirmed our commitment to the first parking permit being free and we ensure any changes to the residents parking scheme are fully consulted, as you well know.
I hope to see more care taken in your claims in future literature.
Yours sincerely
Sarah Hacker
Labour Councillor, Battle Ward
Press at the time:  The article in the Reading Chronicle makes it clear he was criticising the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition yet on his leaflet he makes it seem as if  he was criticising Labour!  Both articles make it clear the unpopular changes he refers to were made by the coalition and that they had already been changed by Labour when Alok Sharma decided to speak up!  I wonder if we'll get a leaflet correcting these mistakes?

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