Over the past couple of weeks there has been talk about new homes around Silsden, and I cant fathom some aspects out…
One of the first updates on SilsdenBuzz talked about how “Bradford Council has identified a need for 1200 new homes to be built in Silsden by 2030” and there is loads of new info on http://www.homesforsilsden.co.uk – and if a developer has gone to the effort of putting a website together it must be worth his while. One of the pages talks about infrastructure – and it might be pretty obvious that if you are going to build so many homes (and presumably between 3,000 – 4,000 occupants ?) that you need to invest in infrastructure, facilities and services.
Then, local / town / district councils have their say in the media (http://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/13339481.Call_for_Silsden_masterplan_follows_news_of_plans_for_175_new_houses/)
And this, all of this, is where my confusion arises from. Who the bloody hell does what ?? and more importantly who gets a say in where the money gets spent (and indeed, who pays!?). Do Bradford council simply say that some houses have to be built and then leave everyone else to it ?
Does the Developer just chuck in a bit of “public space” (pretty much on the edge of town as far as I can see) and then coin the profits with an apparent clear conscience ?
Also, in a “what have the Romans ever done for us” kind of way what do these local councils actually do? Did they arrange the do in the park recently, the gala or even such things as the new Christmas tree in 2010 ? – all very good things I think most would agree and therefore they deserve our applause. But equally what about the apparent fiasco that is the “flood defence” up by the ducks and what about the debacle that was the town hall upgrade and library relocation ? Did the time, money and effort building the crossing opposite the Robin really make things much better ? Would you let whoever decided on these have further say on Silsden’s “infrastructure” ?
I’m not suggesting I know who should take credit for these things – I just cant figure it out, and it isnt that easy to find out.
Take another example, the local schools. Everyone locally in Silsden has an opinion about this including, unsurprisingly, the local councillors (http://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/13508256.Silsden_parents_back_proposed_merger_of_town_s_infant_and_junior_schools/) but the key part of this article is “he findings of the consultation responses will now be studied by Michael Jameson, the council’s strategic director of children’s services, who will make recommendation“. I dont know Mr Jameson but wonder if he lives in Silsden ? – it probably doesnt matter but presumably the decision will mean a local developer gets chance to build on 2 prime locations and again we’ll have talk about infrastructure and everyone will, once again, get the chance to have an opinion.
Opinions are all well and good – but who bloody does what ?