Monday, June 22, 2009

Fairly assessing the proposed new Bristol City stadium

The Bristol Evening Post reports, again how a new stadium for Bristol City is crucial to the success of the bid to have World Cup football in Bristol. I think what we need to keep in mind here is how the city can best come to a fair decision. There are certain factors that, under current planning law and guidance, are not legitimate planning criteria against which the application should be judged. These include: World Cup games in Bristol aspirations; Bristol City FC premiership aspirations; support for the application from the local media for the stadium; support from political party leaders for the stadium; support from a multi-millionaire and major supermarket chain for the stadium proposal. These things therefore, at least in theory, should not affect decision making - I sincerely hope that this is the case.

I agree with a lot of what Andy, Tony and Rob said (below), commenting on the Post story. Tony's blog is well worth a read (

It is not the stadium plan that is the most contentious thing here; it is the way in which the local people and the council are being hoodwinked and pressurised into giving it a green light.The constant press releases from the football club, and the incessant white noise in the evening post serve to crank the pressure to approve the scheme. The England world cup bid could easily fail; the Bristol bid (dependent on the stadium) could also easily fail: then the football club will have landed their only real prize, and the rest of Bristol will be left with a vague sense of having been duped.Evening Post - wake up to yourselves, it is not your job to campaign for Bristol City Football Club, or Tesco. How about being impartial for a change?????

Andy, Bristol

The article says: "The council's local plan has Ashton Gate earmarked for housing. But times have changed since the plan was written."The times may have changed but the need for affordable family housing hasn't. One thing does remain and that is we don't need another supermarket in this area of Bristol.Are the powers that be really going to rush through a planning application that could damage the area forever, for the sake of two or three potential World Cup games in nine years time. Let's do it right. A development at Ashton Gate that will benefit the local community and a new stadium for City that it can afford. Tesco a 'white knight'? More like the Grim Reaper for Southville and Ashton.

A large car park, a supermarket in a tin shed and a petrol filling station - is that the best anyone at Bristol City can come up with for their old ground?It would be a complete waste of a great opportunity. OK the World Cup in Bristol would be great, but it will only last for four weeks. We will be stuck with the consequences for a lot longer.

Rob, Crews Hole Report

Anne Widdecombe for Speaker !!

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If I was now an MP I'd be voting for Anne Widdecombe to be the new Speaker of the House of Commons. She's not my political colour of course and I dont agree with her views on religion but she is of very strong principle and conviction, she is, as far as I am aware, completely untainted by the expenses scandal, she is very independent-minded, is well known by the public and connects very well with them. Its important that we dont get yet another Speaker from the Labour Party because the last two have come from them. Crucially Anne has said that she would only be Speaker up to the next general election, which is very important for me. Its not right for the current House of Commons, which has many discredited MPs and procedures, to choose a Speaker to serve a long term in office. Far better for the credibility and reputation of the Speaker and of the House of Commons for a new set of MPs to make a choice of Speaker for the more usual, longer period in office.