Peace 3 Problems

At the last Council meeting I warned the Councillors to not be complacent about the protests, which are sweeping Bangor, and to ‘not’ ignore them. I also wrote to them privately about a proposed protest which may have the effect of damaging Bangor’s reputation across the UK and perhaps even across the world.

After my warning, a long speech was made, by the leader of the DUP, telling the Council how great the Council was and how bad the protesters are. The DUP leader failed to recognise that his speech would infuriate the 1,000’s of people who protested at the end of July and would make them even more determined to be heard. Hence the protests that are spreading across Bangor which now even threatens the BBC Proms in the Park as the protesters have a scheduled large protest with band protest on the same night and at the same venue.

Since that meeting, over 6 weeks ago, it appears that our rudderless ship of a Council has ignored all my warnings and has not even attempted to contact the protesters to discuss the situation. As a result the BBC may pull the concert once it hears of the counter-protest.

We also learnt, at that same meeting, that the Council has fouled up it’s own Peace 3 application for Redburn Playpark and may have to refund up to £70,000 as result of incorrect procurement procedures by the Council. This is after the Council accused the communities of not doing their sums right and causing the Community considerably grief, stress and the threat of bankruptcy.

Is it any wonder that many in the community and business world are furious with this Council at it’s off-hand attitude to people. The Councillors are like a deer caught in the headlights, they stand still whist the truck runs over the ratepayers.

Make no mistake. These protests are not just about the Protestant traditions, Flags and Bonfires…. this is about an incompetent, inconsiderate and aloof Council reeking havoc on all the people and businesses of this Borough and the only ones who will suffer at the hands of this Council’s incompetence are the ratepayers.

Regards

Austen

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LETTER TO CHAIRMAN OF PEACE 3 BOARD

Dear Alderman Gibson, (Chairman of Peace 3 Committee)

1) – It has come to my attention that the Peace 3 Committee is reducing the number of projects that it is accepting by 75%. (42 projects in 2010/2011 to a proposed 10 projects in 2011/2012). It appears that the vast majority of the projects being cut are small community projects.

This was information given at the last Council meeting of the NDBC and the reason that was given was that the administration could handle 10 projects more efficiently.

Could you advise what financial savings will be made in administration a result of this substantial trimming of the community projects? I suspect that a 75% reduction in workload will result in some considerable savings, which can then be put back into the Community?

2) – I must express some surprise that the accounts, which should have been up on the web site in March, are still not available and are only at a ‘draft’ stage (End of July 2011) . Is there not a statutory duty to have them available when they are due? Also could you please arrange for me to have an explanation of why these accounts are so late?

3) – Can I have your assurances that the errors that were made by North Down Borough Council in the procurement of the Holywood Play park will be given the exact same attention and treatment by the Peace 3 Board as the errors that were made by some Community groups during the SEUPB’s partial audit?

… and could you also confirm that any special dispensation/allowance that may be given to NDBC by the peace 3 Board as a result of their procurement errors will also be extended to the Community groups which were found to be in error during the audit?

Regards and thank you

Yours

Austen

CC to Ashley Boreland (Chief Executive Ards Borough Council)

I RECEIVED NO REPLY.

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