Admin or Register Login

Local Democracy

Forum Home

   

Roads and road rage

Link to this post

Roads and road rage and the economy

With the failure of both Wiltshire and BANES to repair the damage to Staples Hill one might wonder how a proposal to spend over one million pounds on a foot bridge across the river Avon at Bradford on Avon can be justified. The damage to Staples Hill has been caused by heavy traffic including tracked vehicles weighing up to 28 tons. Most of that traffic is due to the development at Freshford Mill (but which has been much less than we feared as demolition waste was crushed and re-used on site). However there is an increase in heavy goods and other traffic due to being misguided by Satnav systems.

Staple Hill's road surface is so poor that local motorists will take a central position unless forced to do so by oncoming traffic. Poor cyclists have no choice but to go into the potholes, either stop or risk aggressive action by impatient if not ignorant motorists. At night the road is dangerous to cyclists.

One may question whether the financial crisis is real when one million pound is being seriously considered in the building of a footbridge over the river Avon at Bradford on Avon when basic road maintenance is being ignored.  And what is worse is that all that needs to be done at Bradford is to raise the pavement, which at present in some places is below the legal limit and add railings. There is no need for an additional bridge.  It seems to me that what we have to contend with is a bunch of crooks or ignoramuses.

As for the financial crisis the background to neglect of the roads due to money being gambled away. Who has been sacked in these National banks? I may be wrong but no one! One neighbour has been charged over £180 for being overdrawn (Lloyds bank) Hence my observation that these people are crooks. I'd sooner have government restored to the monarchy rather than this lot of either ignoramuses or at worst crooks. 

 

Freshford (UK) Parish Council Minutes

Link to this post

Seems that the official Freshford web site is not being informed of the minutes of the last parish council meeting. I know that the minutes have to be approved but don't see why this should have to wait till  the next meeting of the parish council before they are approved and clearance is given for them to be published.

At present we have access to the February minutes, but it is almost May 2008! Surely, once the minutes are recorded they can be emailed to councillors for their approval? Unless, of course we have councillors who don't have Internet access. If so, I can't see how these councillors can fufill their responsibilities. On the other hand who's eagerly awaiting to read the minutes of our parish council?

Are you a B&NES or a Wiltshire resident?

Link to this post

I have received the following email indirectly from Stuart Campbell the chairman of Freshford Parish Council. The email is of importance to Freshford residents who happen to reside in Wiltshire rather than BANES and is therefore published here:

Subject: Planning Representation of Residents in Counties Bordering Freshford.

If someone lives in Wiltshire  and is interested in commenting on a B&NES application , then I suppose that they can comment direct to B&NES, but should also ask their district councillor to contact B&NES and support their view. This would certainly be more powerful than expecting B&NES officers to place adequate weight on non-resident comment.

This is a personal view and I think any Wilts resident would be well advised to ask their councillor how to comment effectively to a bordering unitary authority. They could also contact  their PC  as we refer bordering applications to them (And vice versa), normally in our case to Limpley Stoke and there is nothing to stop a PC in Wilts commenting to B&NES either directly or through us. This happened with the Mill (Westwood PC) but I have no idea how much weight was given to such comments.

Hope this is helpful.

Stuart Campbell


There are number of observations that I am thinking about here. I am going to number them to facilitate discussion, but before I do so there aren't any counties bordering Freshford as parts of Freshford are in more than one county. Unless Freshford is a village that is by definition only in B&NES?

1. First there is the notion of where someone who considers themselves a resident of Freshford lives and the effect that may have on planning decisions. I live a little nearer to the centre of Freshford than Stuart, yet I live in Wiltshire. My postal address is Freshford, Bath etc. My daughter and her family live a few hundred yards from Freshford school where my grandchildren are being educated. Is my daughter and her family not residents of Freshford?

Because we live in Wiltshire does that mean that BANES planning may place lesser weight on our responses to planning applications than people who live in BANES and possibly on the outskirts of Freshford.

2. A village is by definition "a very small town in a country area"  whereas a town is by definition a "place with many houses, shops/stores, etc. where people live and work. It is larger than a village but smaller than a city." Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary 7th edition 2005. I think everyone will agree that Freshford is a village. The word "village" is also from Old French and from Latin and refers to belonging to a country house eg. a manor house.

3. Freshford has hamlets: Sharpstone, Park Corner, Woodside, and Staples Hill. The buildings in Staples Hill are less than 80 feet from the county boundary between Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset. are we seriously to believe that the planners in the Unitary authority of B&NES will regard and have regarded comments on planning applications from Wiltshire residents as of being of lesser importance than those of rsidents who live in B&NES?

4. Stuart Campbell has been chairman of Freshford Parish Council for many years and should be better acquainted with the manner in which planning decisons are made. Yet although the BBC provides a guide to running a parish council and to taking part in one's local community it does not provide such guidance and the government does not either, or if it does it is not found easily using a Google search.

5. If it is the case that residents of a village that are also residents of another county have a lesser say in the  decisions that are made in that village, in this case Freshford Somerset then what may we say about the rights of the former Head of Planning at B&NES Ludek Majer a Czech national? to make major decisions about planning that affect Freshford and surrounding countryside?

6. I can understand Stuart making observations about the planning process that affects us as the complete fiasco of Freshford Mill must have shaken his faith in local democracy. How can it be that such a decision can be made, in spite of the depth of feeling against the development. The planners went entirely against the wishes of the residents of this village whether they reside in B&NES or Wiltshire.

7. It is an anachronism that such concepts of residency should be based on arbitary boundaries that have no or little relevance to the 21st Century and the environmental problems that we face.

8. I suspect that discrimination based on which side of a boundary one lives on is against the European Charter to Safegard Human Rights in Cities as such descrimination is breaking the Principal of Proximity. Or of course maybe that Right is not applicable to villages?

9. Another observation I would like to make is that I don't expect my local parish council (Westwood) to support my views, why should they? They might disagree with my views. All B&NES planning has to do to consider whether a citizen's opinion on a proposal is to be considered with greater care or not is look at a map. Indeed, on the contrary, what if the opinion on a proposal came from an eminent authority who is not a resident? Often a parish council may commision a report from some expert to support objections to a planning application. Or is this just a case of being snowed under with paperwork, otherwise, why can't any Tom Dick or Harry submit their opinion on a proposal. What should count is the veracity of the argument, for or against the proposal, not whether the objector lives here or there. This does not diminish the argument of someone who because of where they live will be more affected by planning being approved or not, as the veracity of their argument may be greater because they perceive the effects of the planning application if its approved or rejected.


Content Management Powered by CuteNews
 

 

2007 XYZWeb.co.uk for Society, Culture and the Arts