lost in the emf fog

RBWM Corporate Plan Challenge Session – Your Input Please

Are the Tories are looking to put 5G masts every 250 metres? That’s going to create one hell of an EMF smog and does nothing for the environment & reducing CO2 emissions. The local ecology is set for huge radical change under Conservative rule and residents need to hold them to account at the ballot box in 2023.

On Friday 1st October 2021 a report is published that is 128 pages long and Councillors have until 10am Monday 4th October 2021 to read, digest and respond with any questions. Essentially the opposition have been given “5 mins”… this is how the Tories do things! We should be grateful, often we hear about it after the event.

If you could take a look and ping me an email cllr.davey@rbwm.gov.uk with any immediate questions by 4pm today, Sunday 3rd Oct 2021, then I will forward them with my questions before the deadline.

This is how the administration rolls when it doesn’t want anyone to respond or challenge their thinking. “You had your chance, why do you not have any answers for us?” will be their patronising response.

Well I was working on Friday, Saturday & today (Sunday) but on scanning the document on Saturday night, decided to get up at 6am and respond before my 10am shift. 

Figured I’d share my thoughts in public so that any residents can add their two penneth before I submit my final response on Monday morning.

Obviously this is in rough draft as I have not had time to refine my thoughts as I normally might as a paper that determines the Council’s strategy and forward momentum has essentially been thrown at the opposition!

So here is my knee jerk reaction… I have just dealt with items that jumped out at me as dealing with the whole would need far more time than I have been given.

Bullet point is from report. My comment / question is below each.

THRIVING COMMUNITIES

Where families and individuals are empowered to achieve their ambitions and fulfil their potential

• A decrease in the numbers of adults who are current smokers and in adults who drink more than the UK’s Chief Medical Officer’s weekly guideline. 

The government has been trying for years. What magic bullet does the administration have to address this?

In Wales & Scotland there is an additional tax on strong cider to address the problem. Are the Tories proposing a precept on drinkers?

• A decrease in the proportion of Year 6 (10-11 year old) children who are overweight and obese from 29% to 24% by 2026.

How have we let our young people become so overweight. Is it poor quality of food production? Is it bad parenting? Is it lack of movement caused by computer games? In ancient China, doctors got paid when you were well. How do the Tories propose addressing this issue? Ban certain foods, fine parents, block access to computer games for obese children?

• A decrease in the proportion of adults who feel lonely always, often or some of the time from 21.24%, by supporting an active community and voluntary sector.

How about bringing back public houses for community gatherings and create a positive drinking game that encourages residents to drink less. Ticks a bunch of boxes.

• A minimum of three pilots of new Technology Enabled Care (TEC) delivered within 12 months.

Will these be on older people who don’t understand tech or younger patients who are living tech?

INSPIRING PLACES 

Supporting the borough’s future prosperity and sustainability

• An increase in the number of new and surviving businesses within the borough, including the expansion of Creative industries.

There will naturally be an increase in business as furlough means more residents are made redundant. The Chinese help their businesses by being the bankers until customers pay. Will we be looking to offer favourable terms to local businesses while they get off the starting block in a slow economy?

• An increase in the proportion of women and girls who feel safe in the Borough, including through a safe, thriving night time economy. 

Why do women feel unsafe and what has that got to do with a thriving night time economy? Surely they should be considered separately?

Quality infrastructure that connects neighbourhoods and businesses and allows them to prosper

• Investment along the A308 corridor to deliver on the recommendations of the corridor study.

Looking forward to seeing this report with its constant delays which should be addressed before the BLP is voted on.

• An increase in full fibre to 95% of properties by 2025; eliminate 4G “not-spots” in rural areas; and establish a test-bed and small cell roll out for 5G. 

What are small cells in 5G technology?

Image result for small cell roll out for 5G.

Small cells are portable miniature base stations that can be placed every 250 meters or so throughout cities. To prevent signals from being dropped, carriers could blanket a city with thousands of these stations.

So this “test-bed” where is it to be located? Preferably Maidenhead town centre or are the tories looking to swamp West Windsor in an EMF smog?

• Deliver the Windsor Public Realm project, transforming Castle Hill into a pedestrian first zone, and growing the local economy and increasing numbers of local jobs.

Can we see details of the recent quote that way exceeded the budget of £2.5m and have an understanding on when the LEP will pull their funding through inaction. How will the Tories fund this project if not supported by LEP as our finances are in dire straits and so we can’t possibly borrow more, can we?

• Increase the passenger satisfaction and the number of bus journeys per head of population to close the gap with neighbouring Berkshire authorities as well as establishing trials to deliver better rural bus service connectivity.

So how are we going to subsidise a service that very few people seem to want?

• Review the collection of Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 funding, in order to increase developer investment in sustainable, community infrastructure.

Thousands of flats built in Maidenhead, struggling to sell and ZERO CIL generated. I’d suggest no more planning permission in Maidenhead until this is sorted.

Taking action to tackle climate change and its consequences, and improving our natural environment. 

• A decrease in the borough and council’s own emissions by 50% by 2025 – and net zero by 2050, at the latest.

Would be good to see these figures on a table as 2025 is just round the corner.

• Enable the delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to meet growing demand through a new EV implementation plan.

I asked about this over a year ago so I’m looking forward to seeing the implementation plan sometime soon.

• Increase recycling to 50% of waste by 2025, and to 65% by 2035, with an overall reduction in waste generated.

Could have been there already had they taken a more proactive approach with bin collection during Covid.

• Invest £10m on flooding prevention within Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury, and Old Windsor wards, working in partnership with the Environment Agency. Alongside further investment, borough-wide, in protection against surface water flooding as part of delivering our climate adaptation plan.

The Parish Council already made their voice clear on this matter. £10m is way off the mark for a thorough solution and this is just another Tory soundbite.

A COUNCIL TRUSTED TO DELIVER ITS PROMISES 

That can only really happen when the Tories are replaced by an Independent administration in 2023 which will naturally give the RBWM Officers more room to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Thank you.

Photo by Jack Sloop on Unsplash

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