Letter to The Haslemere Herald: Big Society failing its supporters

This letter appeared in today’s Haslemere Herald, from Dr Helen Bowcock, Haslemere resident.

It begins…

Sir, – In last week’s Herald Bernard Coe (Editor’s note, President of Haslemere Museum) demonstrated that the vexed question of parking in Haslemere is exposing significant weaknesses in the implementation of the “Big Society”. The residents of our town appear to be finding their interests and their community damaged in the name of localism. When Surrey County Council devolved certain decision making to borough level committees was it honouring David Cameron’s hope for “a radical shift of power from central government to neighbourhoods”? Or was it simply creating a mechanism to concentrate power and to distance local people further from decisions that affect their everyday lives? Judging by the public outcry against proposed parking measures we are finding that it is the latter.

Read the letter in full here Letter to Haslemere Herald. Big Society failing its supporters

From: Helen Bowcock [mailto: removed]
Sent: 24 February 2012 8:04 AM
To: editor@haslemereparking.com
Subject: Letter in today’s Herald

As promised, here is my letter in the Herald today.

Best wishes,



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One Response to Letter to The Haslemere Herald: Big Society failing its supporters

  1. Editor says:

    Dear Helen

    Thank you for sharing your letter.

    On the question of volunteering, it was raised in the 24th January 2012 Haslemere Hall meeting by Alison Rose. Her words:
    “I’m a Homestart volunteer. I am also a volunteer at our local school, as are lots of other parents in this room. I am also a nurse. Now, one day in the week I go to school and I do the hours that I volunteer there, and then I go to my family that I volunteer for. I can’t afford to pay the parking that you’re suggesting as a volunteer, and I want to know what provisions you make for people like me, as part of David Cameron’s “big society” that I am doing my best to support … gaps where the cuts have been — what are you doing to help me?”

    The response from Cllr Renshaw was:
    “I will take that away and ask what options there are because I agree with you that there is nothing evident.”

    See transcription: http://haslemereparking.com/transcript-of-the-haslemere-hall-meeting-called-by-haslemere-town-council/

    Alison wrote in this forum a week ago – http://haslemereparking.com/parking-permits-for-residents/ – that she had had no reply from Cllr Renshaw on this subject.

    Yours, Editor

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