'Poll being held too quickly with too many questions unanswered,' says Yarm politician

Darlington and Stockton Times: Louise Baldock - Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South Louise Baldock - Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South

THE ‘Yarm for Yorkshire’ poll due to take place next week has been criticised by a parliamentary hopeful for being held too quickly.

Louise Baldock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Stockton South, said there were serious, unanswered questions about what would happen if the town left Stockton Borough Council.

However she has been accused of “scaremongering” by Jason Hadlow, former Yarm mayor and campaigner for the poll.

Ms Baldock, who grew up in Yarm, said she understood the emotional attachment to Yorkshire, but added: “There is a wealth of difference between what you write on the end of your address and who provides vital services.”

She said outstanding questions included whether wheelie bins would be emptied fortnightly instead of weekly, whether street lights were turned off during the night as they are in parts of Hambleton and would parking fees rise to match those of Northallerton.

Ms Baldock also said there were concerns about road gritting, home care for elderly people, use of the tip and access to schools.

Yarm resident Ian McGregor added his voice to the concerns about the poll, which will be held on Tuesday, May 27, but will not be legally binding.

In a letter to The Northern Echo Mr McGregor said the £4,000-poll was being held “because a town council meeting was hi-jacked by less than two dozen people.”

He said he had lived in Hambleton and services were superior in Stockton.

Mr Hadlow, a prominent member of Yarm Residents Association, hit back. He said: “There seems to be some scaremongering going on, led by people who should know better. Let’s be clear there will be no deterioration in services and authority boundaries change all the time.”

Hambleton Borough Council has declined to comment. North Yorkshire council leader John Weighell said he was neutral on the issue.

Comments (3)

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6:22pm Thu 22 May 14

simpsonm says...

Mr Hadlow has only lived or been associated with Yarm for ten years. He says we are all scaremongering because we are concerned that the information he has includeed in the YRA leaflet is misleading to say the least and I am very pleased that Mr McGregor has taken the trouble to put the record straight. Mr Hadlow came from London and now he tells us that he knows better than a born and bred Yarm person. Amazing but do not worry you cannot believe one word he says and that accounts for the information he has produced on the leaflet.
Mr Hadlow has only lived or been associated with Yarm for ten years. He says we are all scaremongering because we are concerned that the information he has includeed in the YRA leaflet is misleading to say the least and I am very pleased that Mr McGregor has taken the trouble to put the record straight. Mr Hadlow came from London and now he tells us that he knows better than a born and bred Yarm person. Amazing but do not worry you cannot believe one word he says and that accounts for the information he has produced on the leaflet. simpsonm
  • Score: -6

6:37pm Thu 22 May 14

TerryFBH says...

What Ms Baldock is conveniently forgetting is that the Poll is a heartfelt response by residents of Yarm following years of abuse at the hands of Stockton Council.

The Poll is linked directly (by law) on the back of the Annual Parish meeting where, once a year, residents may raise their concerns and, if sufficient numbers ask, they may instruct the Parish Council to hold a non-binding referendum.

People are not prepared to wait another year to express their view, at the ballot box, and the method of the Poll was begrudgingly decided by Stockton Council – with no Polling cards, on a Tuesday and restricted hours of polling station operation (it’s as if they don’t want people to have their say).

So, the law allows Polls such as this to be held – and if this subject isn’t appropriate for such a Poll then what local matter is? And the criticism of a lack of detail at this stage is weak, scare-mongering and disingenuous.
But dealing with the issue of a lack of detail – it would be premature to have such details at this point – especially for such a “non-binding” Poll – and to scare-monger like this is proof that the candidate is clearly more interested in doing the bidding of her “pay-masters” on Stockton Council than representing the people of south Stockton.

Let the people use this rare opportunity to say “enough is enough” – and if enough people do so then details can be thrashed out and further consultation and at least the Boundary Commission can have cause to think.
What Ms Baldock is conveniently forgetting is that the Poll is a heartfelt response by residents of Yarm following years of abuse at the hands of Stockton Council. The Poll is linked directly (by law) on the back of the Annual Parish meeting where, once a year, residents may raise their concerns and, if sufficient numbers ask, they may instruct the Parish Council to hold a non-binding referendum. People are not prepared to wait another year to express their view, at the ballot box, and the method of the Poll was begrudgingly decided by Stockton Council – with no Polling cards, on a Tuesday and restricted hours of polling station operation (it’s as if they don’t want people to have their say). So, the law allows Polls such as this to be held – and if this subject isn’t appropriate for such a Poll then what local matter is? And the criticism of a lack of detail at this stage is weak, scare-mongering and disingenuous. But dealing with the issue of a lack of detail – it would be premature to have such details at this point – especially for such a “non-binding” Poll – and to scare-monger like this is proof that the candidate is clearly more interested in doing the bidding of her “pay-masters” on Stockton Council than representing the people of south Stockton. Let the people use this rare opportunity to say “enough is enough” – and if enough people do so then details can be thrashed out and further consultation and at least the Boundary Commission can have cause to think. TerryFBH
  • Score: 10

7:29pm Thu 22 May 14

simpsonm says...

The poll is a scam to suit the needs of a political few and it has cost £4000
The poll is a scam to suit the needs of a political few and it has cost £4000 simpsonm
  • Score: -4

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