Speaker’s Corner: UKIP is not just the EU, we care about local too

Howard Koch
Howard Koch

I would be calling for the enquiry even if I was not part of a political party. The sense of outrage is palpable.

The Old Town Road works have now been finished, 28 weeks over due. The High Street is very much open for businesses, and should be your first stop on any shopping excursion.

The Historic Old Town of Hemel Hempstead is (and always was) a most beautiful place to live and work.

There are a wide variety of pubs, restaurants and retailers. One thing that the High Street could never have been accused of is looking like the cloned shopping centres full of the multi-nationals, that fill city centres all over the UK.

In the Old Town we have traditional retailers who have old style specialist knowledge of their goods and services. This is what many of us remember shops in our high streets to be like, and they should be preserved at all costs.

So why is UKIP Hemel Hempstead calling for a full public enquiry into the road works? Let me make one point first. My business is in the Old Town High Street, and I have witnessed first hand the events over the last year. I have spoken to very many people; residents, retailers and the general public from outside the High Street (but tax payers in Hemel Hempstead or Hertfordshire).

I would be calling for the public enquiry even if I was not part of a political party. The sense of outrage is palpable. I also do not see any other party coming forwards to help the people and businesses.

There is just belligerence from the county council. With many outstanding issues, communication with the council, is patchy at best, and this is not just my experience after a long chat with a resident last night, it is the ‘norm’.

UKIP is accused, often on a daily basis of many unpleasant things, one of which is ‘UKIP is only a one horse race – the EU’. Well we (UKIP) are not just about the EU, we take local issues very seriously. The Old Town Hight Street road works is one of these local issues, and its literally on my door step, so what do you expect me to do!?

UKIP policy is quite clear: UKIP stands for making not just MP’s, MEP’s and councillors ( elected representatives) accountable, but making the millions of unelected bureaucrats , who are not even elected, accountable. We have in the UK, possibly the largest public sector work force in the World. Estimates put the number of public sector workers at over 6 million (nearly 19% of the total work force).

There are 1.1 million public sector workers in public administration alone, with 1.5 million ‘others’, what ever that means! UKIP policy is to make these people accountable.

It is no surprise that Hertfordshire County Council has ‘no plans’ for an enquiry, after all turkeys do not vote for Christmas. However, the call for a public enquiry is not down to the council. We believe that there is compelling evidence such that the government has no choice but to call a public enquiry. To this effect UKIP Hemel Hempstead has written to Mr Mike Penning, the MP for Hemel Hempstead, and requested that the government calls the public enquiry. At the time of writing this no reply had been received.

We will also now be formulating plans to stop LA3, stopping the demise of Hemel Hempstead hospital and its turning into 8,000 homes, and the proposed regeneration of the Marlowe’s ( after the fiasco in the Old Town I would be very worried if I owned a business there).