Action Groups across Northampton were celebrating big time last night, after forcing the all Labour Executive on the Northampton Borough Council to back down over its planned permanent traveller sites around the town. WEBBY was invited to the 'HQ' of the Kings Heath Action Group (KHAG) last night, and walked in on some of the celebrating members of KHAG, who were jubilant to put it mildly. The Chairman of KHAG - Mr Dave Allan told Webby last night: "We won on three accounts. Firstly the Executive withdrew its proposed traveller sites unanimously" "Secondly we were given assurances that the council would not bring these traveller site issues before the public again - ever." "Thirdly the Executive stated that both the Borough Council and the Northamptonshire Police had not got control of the situation and, that they would now review their policy on these illegal traveller sites and how they would police them in the future." I was heartened and encouraged after reading a letter given to me personally by KHAG, which proved to me that the people & organisations who visit the site benefit from it. The letter read as follows: "Dear Andy (Webby) Thanks for your support in advertising our campaign, tonight's decision by the Cabinet is a great result for all the action groups, business's and communities that have worked so hard in opposing the issues of travellers encampments. Now what that this council needs to do is work more closely with the already settled communities in identifying what they would like done with these sites as two in particular are for recreational purposes. Northampton Borough Council can also now move on with their attempt to achieve City status, which you and a lot more people are quite aware, will benefit everyone a lot more than these traveller sites. Now that this decision has been taken we the KHAG will stay formed so that we can improve the area of Kings Heath as over the past few years the Council has let this area go to rack & ruin, quite recently in a newspaper report Kings Heath & Dallington were ranked top of the list of "most deprived" areas within the Borough of Northampton, to me and my action group colleagues this is totally unacceptable and we intend to turn this around for the benefit of all within the identified areas. "At the end of the day people power won and this we must not forget as all that were involved in the action against the council have proven that together we are a force to be reckoned with and I am sure that the council are well aware of the fact, we must all work together now for a much brighter and happier future for all our communities. Many thanks, Darren Smith, Deputy Chairman of KHAG Both Labour councillors for Kings Heath (Cllr J Bains & Cllr John Gardener), were unavailable for comment last night! I did however manage to get a hold of the Independent Councillor for St David's, Raoul Perry who told Webby: "The decision by the discredited Labour Cabinet to ditch the plans for travellers sites is being desperately presented by them as 'Labour listening to the People'. What rot! Why did Labour put the people of Northampton through months of worry and anguish about this issue? The answer lies in the arrogance of their present leader, Keith Davies, who recently shouted at the assembled audience of worried townspeople that he "could have buried this issue months ago". Labour obviously thought they could pull the wool over Northampton's eyes. However, many useful lessons have been learned from this fiasco - the Residents of Northampton now know that the Labour councillors they elected to represent them quite plainly don't wish to. They want to foist the NewLabour Government's policy on the Residents instead - in fact it's now quite clear that Labour views the Northampton electorate as their enemy Residents groups all over Northampton should now organise themselves to put forward their own Independent candidates forward at the next Borough elections in 2003. After all, what have the people they put in power done for them? Apart from waste their money in junketing and running up a massive debt?" So there we have it, a hard campaign fought by the Action Groups around the town which resulted in the Labour led Borough Council turning and running away in disarray. One must remember why they did this though? Don't be fooled into thinking that this was done 'after listening to the Action Groups' and that this council based its decision on that basis alone. It is almost certain that the only reason this Labour led Borough Council backed down was the fact that, with slightly under 18 months to go to the next Borough Elections, they were frightened to death of loosing vital seats in the concerned areas and, in turn, loosing overall control of the Borough Council! I can only reiterate my statement that Webby believes the only, or the best way for any local area of town to be represented properly, is for those communities to elect their own Independent councillors who would have their own communities at Heart? After all, one must recall the battle cry of our Labour MP for Northampton South Tony Clarke, who kept saying that he firmly believes that "Northampton would be best represented in Westminster by a local man who understands local concerns". It therefore follows that one can presume that Tony Clarke MP would support the principle that any given electoral ward in Northampton would be best represented by 'a local person'? Food for thought! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THOSE WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE FIGHT TO KEEP THEIR COMMUNITIES CLEAN, SAFE & ILLEGAL TRAVELLER ENCAMPMENT FREE. IT'S YOUR RIGHT AS A TAXPAYER & YOU SHOULD HAVE A BOROUGH COUNCIL THAT AUTOMATICALLY GUARANTEES YOU THAT RIGHT, WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO FIGHT FOR IT?