LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Elected to concentrate on local, not national, issues

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Elected to concentrate on local, not national, issues

By Admin | 08/06/2022

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Elected to concentrate on local, not national, issues

ONCE again, local Labour councillors spent much of the last council meeting arguing about national, rather than local, issues. This time, it was the Government’s Rwanda immigration policy.

I agree with my Conservative colleagues that Rotherham taxpayers’ time and money in these meetings is best spent on local issues, which we actually have the power to change.

As usual, taking this position just led to a torrent of abuse and Tory bashing from Labour councillors. National politics are their priority, not the residents of Rotherham.

Sure enough, when we raised issues around dangerous trees in the borough — a genuinely local matter — these were totally dismissed by Labour as a political game played by Tory tree haters.

It didn’t matter that residents near Anston Plantation and other similar areas have been complaining about the excessive height and state of the trees for over a decade.

It didn’t matter that RMBC told them repeatedly that everything was fine, only for Storm Eunice to bring trees down, destroying homes. It didn’t matter that the tree survey found that 44 trees need action to protect people and property, along with a range of other work. Labour were not interested. Their Cllr Baker-Rogers even stated that she was “somewhat bemused” that we had raised the topic at all.

Could it be because there is strong evidence that the current policy is not working?

Labour don’t want to talk about Rotherham no, but will spend ample time on Rwanda.

We can all debate the latter, but it shouldn’t be on local taxpayers’ time. It was obvious to everyone that Labour only focus on the details that interest them anyway.

They seem blind to the fact that people are currently dying at the hands of unscrupulous criminals. I think of the 39 Vietnamese migrants who tragically died in a sealed trailer on October 23 2019. As the judge said in that case, they “must have experienced an excruciatingly painful death”.

There was no acknowledgement that a deterrent is needed, or that this policy is intended to be just that.

It was also conveniently forgotten that Labour’s own local MP, John Healey, recently asked the Home Secretary to “Get control of the escalating crisis in migrants crossing the Channel.” Clearly they agree something must be done, but they have no solutions.

In any case, Labour councillors are not MPs and they need to remember which election they stood in. They need to take a good long, hard look at themselves and decide what is more important.

Is it the lives of local Rotherham residents, or the enjoyment they get from listening to each other discuss national issues they are not there to decide.

They are quite possibly out of touch on these anyway, but they are definitely out of touch with the needs of the residents in front of them.

Cllr Tracey Wilson, North Anston