Happy New Year, Colchester – What’s Next?

It’s traditional at this time of the year to look back.

But BALLS to tradition.

Why would you want to ponder on past mistakes, or worst still, celebrate achievements when there is still so much more to do?

Backwards never, forwards ever, etc.

Plus we can’t be bothered to trawl through The Chronic archives and cut and paste the past.

It’s all there if you want it.

Has it been a good year for Colchester?

Has it ever?

You make of it what you will.

That’s the impression that we get around the town centre. Colchester is changing at a rapid pace, both from within the town centre and around the borough.

But still Colchester folk continue to do what they usually do – which is accept that change is often hard to resist. You get on and try and support those closest to you.

Thankfully Colchester is a close community. Which means that those closest is inclusive, rather than exclusive.

This doesn’t hide the growing homeless issue that is there for everyone to see around us.

Just maybe 2018 might lead to the poxy politics taken out of social exclusion solutions.

Ah yes – poxy politics.

Colchester does this very well.

Full Council and Cabinet have been crap this year.

Seriously Comrades – what’s the point?

We get that you have to go through the #localgov business of mandating the decisions dictated by the small cabal that controls our town.

But the farce of doing it so that democracy can at least be seen to be taking place is bobbins.

We all know that these decisions have been made in advance behind closed doors.

Which leads to the unedifying spectacle of the tribal warlords getting excited as they eyeball each other in the chamber every other month.

Haven’t you got anything better to do?

We certainly have.

But we will continue to document how useless Full Council and Cabinet are as a mechanism to help improve Colchester.

Don’t let the buggers get away with it.

There was some cause for optimism at the final Full Council of 2017. Tory Leader in waiting Cllr Darius Laws seemed as pissed off as we were with the political posturing.

His response to the staged Labour Motion on Universal Credit was:

“We agree, let’s get down to the vote.”

Of course Darius might have been playing the game himself. It would be refreshing if this level of co-operation could continue in 2018.

It won’t though – not with the next round of the BONKERS election by thirds taking place in May 2018.

Darius and his blue rinse mob will need to turn around some safe swathes of Labour and LibDems seats if they want to form a majority at the Town Hall.

The nasty Battle of Shrub End back in September 2017 shows how far from unified the LibLab alliance currently is.

Whoever does get to form a new administration in May [clue: plus ca change] will have an inbox that highlights the same themes over recent years:

The ‘death’ of the town centre, Tollgate and the bloody Garden Villages.

And Jumbo.

Always Jumbo.

The bloody Garden Villages are the Brexit for CBC.

EVERYTHING it seems has been thrown at making these work.

After all the detail of the Local Plan Committee, 2018 should see the first serious moves in making these happen.

We’ve been surprised tbh at how these have slipped under the radar of most people.

If you think that Tollgate will change our town, just wait until you see how the bloody Garden Villages will swallow up what we know as Colchester.

Maybe it’s because it’s a long term policy without any day-to-day headlines or impact to be felt?

But that’s what Colchester folk do – focus on getting by and helping those around us each day.

We hope that those who are given the responsibility to enable this to happen have the same sincerity and concerns as residents.

Happy New Year.

Oh yeah – can the Colchester Free Festival please return for 2018?

And the World Cup on the Castle Park big screen?

Mono-rail would be half decent as well.

Have a good one.

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