This paper considers how our local councils treat "Milton Detached", the area of Milton parish accessed via Chesterton Fen Road. The statistics relating to this area are:
We spend the money we collect from residents in a number of ways:
In the time Jim has been the clerk we have built a community centre, sports
pavilion, provided recreation grounds and play areas, erected bus shelters and
planted bulbs and trees in the village. In that same period he tells me that
we've spent nothing on projects in Milton Detached.
We subsidise many activities in the village, both directly, via grants to
bodies such as the Bus Project, and indirectly, through cheap rates at the
Community Centre. We spend nothing on activities based in Milton Detached.
We offers facilities to the elderly through the mobile warden, subsidised
bus passes and the community bus scheme. As far as I'm aware no residents in
Milton Detached use these services.
We maintain most of the open spaces in the village. We maintain nothing in Milton Detached.
Some of these activities do, in theory at least, benefit the residents of Milton Detached. For example there is no reason why they shouldn't avail themselves of any of the facilities we offer, and they can (I assume?) hire the Community Centre at the same reduced rates as other Milton residents. But the reality is that they don't and they can't easily anyway unless they have a car.
In addition we make no effort to tell them that the facilities are available to them. Village View isn't distributed in Milton Detached, nor is What's On in Milton and there is no parish noticeboard in Milton Detached hence it's unlikely that residents are even aware of the things we do.
I'm not in a position to comment on how SCDC treats our residents in Milton Detached in general, but one specific area should be a cause for concern: there is no polling station in Milton Detached for elections at any level. Hence anyone in Milton Detached who wants to vote has to make their way to Milton, which is difficult unless they are fit or have access to a car. Is it any wonder that few residents bother to join the electoral roll?
I think it's clear from the above that Milton Detached residents get a raw deal three times over:
I think we've consistently failed the residents of Milton Detached over a very long time. The question I have to ask the council is: are we happy for this to continue? And, if we're not, what are we going to do about it?