Sunday, January 06, 2008

Transport Fund: Harebrained Undercover Conservatives

The Manchester Evening News reports on a 9,000-strong petition being handed in to Bury Town Hall - for an elected mayor.

This is it seems a hare-brained Trojan Horse, to be re-run in other Boroughs such as Bolton.

Lumbering town after town with elected mayors on the single-issue of stopping congestion charging.

Stopping public transport and environmental improvements. To look at the other side of the coin.

What a way to carry on! Leading light Geoffrey Berg (52) of Prestwich has never even driven a car according to this report from Oldham, but - seen here left with Stuart Chapman and Steve Evans at Bury - he is keeping party political affiliation close to his chest.

He is in fact a former Tory councillor in Bury. Beaten there he tried his luck in Manchester City Centre in 2004. Now he isIn 2006-7 he appeared to be back as a candidate in the Besses seat of Bury South. Tories in Bury and in Bolton say they are utterly against Berg's elected mayor idea. Even if they agree on the question of congestion charges.

Indeed Bury is already one of three authorities - the others being Trafford and Stockport - who have declared against the Local Transport Fund. We really do need to re-brand any charging scheme. Bury and Trafford already have tram services. Stockport don't stand to gain one in the near future. A better excuse.

Meanwhile, shouldn't pundits and campaigners be honour bound to declare any party affiliations? How many times do we see or hear partisan commenters on TV and radio who have not managed to even thinly disguise their bias.

Hat tip: David Ottewell.


Anonymous said...

Don't think Berg is the Conservative candidate in Besses Chris. Where did you hear that?

Chris Paul said...

In 2007 perhaps? From PPC website Nov 2006. Described as "our Besses campaigner" which usually means "council candidate".

Anonymous said...

Surely the answer is to sell Manchester Airport
(which is about as environmentally unfriendly and frankly last century as you can get)Get say 1-2bn and then ask the govt to match fund this with as much again9(afterall thats what MCR mps are for). Then top this up with a 1bn set against congestion charging . Then with a 3-5bn fund get on and build the tram extensions. Then when this is done say in 3 yrs introduce the congestion charging. This takes all the heat out of the issue and gets the system in place. And if the tram is so necessary then selling the airport is a worthwile loss . (Afterall the new airport owners could not be any more moneygrabbing than the present lot. £1.80 for 15mins parking!)

Tameside Eye said...

I don't know about hairbrained, but something is certainly going on with their hair.