Meanwhile, Yesterday, In Parliament…

GREG HANDS (MP for Hammersmith and Fulham) (Con), was the first to mention our local MP yesterday. Hansard records him as saying:-

‘The hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) made a notable intervention on the Chief Secretary; it left me confused about the hon. Gentleman’s status. After the Conservative Whip was withdrawn from him, he sat as an independent, then as a member of the UK Independence party, then again as an independent. Then last week, he was part of the Canvey Island Independent party. Last Friday, his local papers reported that he had set up his own party, the Save our Green Belt party. The House of Commons Library has listed him as an independent, but he seems to be following the Labour Whip as he votes in the Division Lobby on crucial matters. I shall
be interested to see under which party Hansard records his intervention.’

But Bob continued his ‘hard work’ on constituents’ behalf:-

Mr. Speaker: ‘We come now to the Adjournment.’

Bob Spink (Castle Point) (Ind) rose—

Mr. Speaker: ‘I do beg the hon. Gentleman’s pardon: the day would not be complete without petitions from Dr. Spink.’

Bob Spink (Castle Point) (Ind): ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, how gracious of you.

‘People should be able to live in peace and quiet in their homes. So-called antisocial behaviour is often simple thuggery, and it should not be tolerated. The local council should now take the issue of street design in the Hadleigh area seriously. It should protect long suffering residents and not just brush them aside, as it has for years. We should fight bad behaviour, not excuse it; we should challenge, not hug hoodies. I congratulate each of the excellent residents who signed the petition.’

Following is the full text of the petition: [The Petition of Doug Beard, residents of Shipwrights Drive, Highfield Avenue, Castle Point and others, Declares that they object to the link footpath between Shipwrights Drive and Highfield Avenue, Hadleigh; that this footpath is a focus for vandalism to adjacent residents’ properties and close residents, resulting in hundreds of pounds of damage to roof tiles, walls, security lights, and regular attendance of police officers; further, that this footpath does not provide sufficiently significant convenient access for local residents to outweigh the considerable loss of quality of life caused 24/7 to residents; that for these and many other valid reasons residents of Shipwrights Drive and Highfield Avenue, Hadleigh call for the complete closure of the link footpath since this is, on balance, in the public interest. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to press Castle Point Borough Council, the Highways Authority and all Councillors, to ensure the immediate closure of the link footpath between Shipwrights Drive and Highfield Avenue, Hadleigh. And the Petitioners remain, etc.]

Bob Spink (Castle Point) (Ind): ‘I have a second petition, which addresses the important issue of the condition of our paths and roads, which are the subject of the Adjournment debate that will begin in a moment. Residents are deeply concerned about Felstead road and have been asking councillors to take action to repair it for years. Recent ice and water damage have exacerbated the problem. The key concern is for people’s safety, and especially that of elderly people. I warmly congratulate all the caring residents who signed the petition, which states: [The Petition of Mr. Kent Taylor, Mr. Lee Gardiner, residents of Castle Point and others, Declares that the pavements and Felstead Road between the A13 and Bowers Road, Benfleet are in a state of disrepair; that in their current state, these present a real and immediate danger to local residents, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, and have already been the cause of several accidents; further, that poorly maintained pavements disadvantage pedestrians, are unsightly and adversely affect the local street scene; that for these and other valid reasons, residents call for the immediate repair and continued maintenance of the road and pavements since this is in the public interest. The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to press the Borough Council, Essex County Council, the Highways Authority and all Councillors, to ensure the immediate repair and continued maintenance of Felstead Road, Benfleet. And the Petitioners remain, etc.]’

Is it not odd how the same names crop-up?

Doug Beard led the petition on the Shipwrights Drive issue, and it just so happens that one Doug Beard (sources have it) will be contesting the Boyce ward seat – under Bob’s new Independent Save Our Green Belt Party (ISOGBP) banner – in the local elections on May 6th.

And is that the same Lee Gardiner who, co-leading the Felstead Road petition, will apparently be contesting the local Appleton ward as another ISOGBP candidate on the same date?..

Bob certainly does like to keep things ‘in the family’. Sources have it that the Independent Save Our Green Belt Party is being promoted by none other than Gail Boland.

I was careful to use inverted commas, Bob. I did not mean real family, of course.

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