Yesterday, we promised an insight into the thinking and attitudes of our so-called “leadership,” and the first of these has been kindly provided by Councillor Brian Rush – the Independent representative for Frampton and Holme - who clashed with Council Leader Peter Bedford at last week’s full council meeting.
The issue concerned the Into Town bus service – popular with passengers – but hated in no small measure by pedestrians in Strait Bargate for its noise, pollution and the damage it is causing to the paved surface.
Councillor Rush asks: “Is the
“Not when it comes to buses in Strait Bargate, he’s not!
“I put this question to him at the full council on Wednesday 25th July:
“Councillor Bedford, over the years, since the advent of the Into Town bus service, in my opinion, the people of
“I suggest to you that this gave us all the impression that the consultation that took place had confirmed an acceptance of buses going through the precinct.
“Will you confirm to me, that in fact Strait Bargate is only subject to a prohibition of driving and waiting order since 1981, and this has never been changed?”
“All that was required was a simple Yes- so that I could then ask if this was an easier order to lift than a permanent traffic order!
“But his answer was somewhat baffling.
“See what you think …
“If Councillor Rush casts his mind back, he might recall a reply he received from Lincolnshire County Council dated 28th March 2012 which confirmed to him that Strait Bargate is covered by a prohibition of driving and waiting order dated 2nd March 1981.
“The response to you at that time also made it clear that the order allows for vehicles to enter for certain operations, such as building, maintenance, utility works, emergency services, etc.
“It also allows Lincolnshire County Council, as traffic authority, to issue exemptions, (in this case for the buses) and the response you received from the County Council in March of this year provided you with a copy of that.
“So the legal position has already been communicated to you, Councillor Rush”
“Yes Mr Leader, I know that, but that’s not the answer to the question. This is about you, not me!
“The question was really alleging some ‘secret’ knowledge, or conspiracy theory.
“Anyway, would my supplementary question assist him?
“It serves no purpose to reproduce it here, nor indeed his equally rambling response.
“Suffice to say he chose …
- Not to address the suggestion that the people of
- Refused to confirm that both he, and Councillor Brookes were serving members of the regulatory Highways Committee - yet said nothing on how unpopular and unwelcome the buses would be in the precinct.
- Allowed themselves to be bullied, whilst the hated Strait Bargate route was being discussed.
- Were clearly asleep when this ‘never before’ mentioned ‘certificate of exemption’ was granted by their best buddies; it seems they simply sat quietly on their comfortable county chairs, like two good little boys and refused to uphold their own electorate - because this meeting was in June 2009, right in the middle of the disastrous BBI term!
“Now what does that say of the man who would be Tory Leader, at a time when he was supposed to be in opposition to that other County Council crawler, Richard Austin.
“Bedford's deceit is even further exposed by the fact that only a few months ago, at a Group Leaders’ meeting, he admitted, when questioned by me - and in front of all present - that he had no previous knowledge of this exemption certificate.
“At the time (and) only when I showed him a copy of the document, he actually asked if he could have a copy of it, so that he could look into it …
“It is worrying that a man in such a position of responsibility and trust barefacedly fails to tell the truth in the council chamber.
“I suggest we all remind Councillor Bedford, that his first duty lies with Boston, and demand he stops crawling on his hands and knees to the ‘Hill’ in Lincoln.”
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