Most of the councillors sat mute and looking glum; it hasn't been a good few weeks for them. Ever perky Deputy Mayor Elaine Fieldhouse said it wasn't the town council's responsibility to deal with speeding traffic and that the Police were taking this 'very seriously'. She also implied that there wasn't such a problem with speeding as people make out. Chair Andy Manns said he was offended by being blamed for dangerous driving. Watch the video or read the transcript to see what i actually said.
The problem with many of Ledbury's town councillors is that they don't listen. They hear a few words and phrases they don't much like and then leap off into their own prejudiced world of skewed logic, preconceived ideas and distorted perceptions. Blah, blah, I think..., me, me, I, I.
Once more with feeling. Nobody is blaming LTC for speeding traffic. Police enforcement is inadequate. Herefordshire Council don't pay enough attention to Ledbury's traffic issues. AND Ledbury Town Council has a responsibility to plan responses to those facts. Endless whinging won't move things forward. Do something.
Here is the text of my address:
The Council professes to take seriously the concerns of local residents that there is a major problem with speeding traffic, inappropriate parking, congestion, pedestrian safety and disabled access along pavements and across roads. Since I raised this issue in January 2015, nearly two years ago, nothing of any substance appears to have been achieved. There have been sporadic discussions in committee and at PACT meetings, but as usual in Ledbury, no concrete action.
LTC has the competence to take hold of its traffic management and do something for the good of residents in the town. Other towns and parishes have this issue at the top of their agenda because they understand that the safety and well-being of residents is their primary responsibility.
We know Ledbury people are hugely bothered by this. It came out at the top of the survey which led to the Town Plan. There are regular letters in the paper. Someone has even written to the Council offering their own money to pay for a traffic survey. In June, there was a horrendous crash on the Southend, where miraculously nobody was seriously hurt. Old and disabled people and parents with kids dodge over the Hereford and Gloucester Roads taking their lives in their hands. The lives of residents of Lower Road are blighted by reckless driving. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the town centre is like a race track as the boy racers rev up for an adrenalin fuelled night tearing in and out of town.
So what are you doing? I wrote to the Mayor on 1 June asking for her personally to kick this into touch. What happened? Nothing. No response. No action. She was presumably too busy attending to more important matters like organising parades and opening shops.
And where have you been all this time? Basking in your own importance, spending hours in your talking shops and arguing amongst yourselves while ordinary people out on the street take their chances.
I’m not going to mince my words. This committee and this council cost a great deal of money to keep going - but they are mostly worthless and pitifully ineffectual. How much longer do we have to wait before you manage to do anything useful for this town? If you’re not able or not willing to do something worthwhile, then my advice is this. Please go. And leave it to someone else who is.