Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Councillors completely clueless over Drayton Road and Institute Road traffic management.
Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Councillors completely clueless over Drayton Road and Institute Road traffic managementIn a previous blog, I explained how Moseley and Kings Heath Ward’s two Labour Councillors had allowed £12,000 allocated to consult residents had been handed back to the corporate centre to be spent on another part of Birmingham. See blog post at http://martinmullaney.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/moseley-and-kings-heath-labour.html
As you will see from that blog post, the £12k was to be spent on consulting the residents on the following:
· Retaining the ‘no entry’ sign on Drayton Road, which will have to be removed in April 2013.
· Make Institute Road one-way from Springfield Road towards Goldsmith Road. The £12k would have done the formal consultation on both proposals, a legal requirement. I have done informal consultations during 2011. A further £6k would be required from Community Chest to install the signs on Institute Road if the residents supported the proposed one-way system.
One of the residents on Drayton Road, after reading my blog e-mailed the two Labour Councillors and received the following response from Councillor Martin Straker-Welds, thus:
“Dear [name of resident removed]
You raised the subject of the no-entry on Drayton Road and one-way systems.
Just a reminder that the present measures on Drayton Road were installed, on a temporary basis, for the period of the schools expansion. The temporary no-entry measure is designed to restrict vehicular entry from a point near the western end, where the residential properties start. This allows the businesses to be accessed from the High Street, but prevents traffic from travelling further down the road.
The temporary order came into operation on the 30th April 2012 and is due to remain in force until the works are completed at the school. However, I gather that this can be extended for up to eighteen months. I am also informed that an informal consultation can be undertaken in the New
Year to check the views of Drayton Road residents about making this measure permanent.
On the subject of one-way systems, I understand that a decision was made for a portion of the Local Improvement Budget (LIB) 2011/12 to be set aside for a permanent one-way system with Institute Road. However, funding under the Local Improvement Budget was removed before the elections, so the scheme could not have been progressed further. I cannot shed further light on this as it did not come before the M&KH Ward Committee for discussion. In any case, a period of consultation with local residents would have been necessary for both streets.
With the tragic death of Hope Fennell, a Road Safety Commission was been established to review traffic and community safety in the Kings Heath locality. This commission is now taking evidence from a wide range of community agencies. A key issue will be analysis of the potential for one-way systems to promote greater community safety for residents, pedestrian and drivers.
So there is scope for informal consultation with Drayton Road residents in 2013, in advance of the expiry of the temporary measures. However, it goes without saying that any move to create permanent one-way systems would be subject to the availability of funding and consultation with the residents of a number of streets including Drayton, Institute and Goldsmiths Roads.
I do hope this clarifies the position.
With best wishes and many thanks for sharing your concerns
Martin Straker Welds”
This response at first glance seems reasonable, BUT a closer examination shows some factual mistakes and glaring omissions. These are as follows:
Paragraph 2: “I am also informed that an informal consultation can be undertaken in the New
Year to check the views of Drayton Road residents about making this measure permanent.” FACT: An informal consultation has already been done – by me. What is now needed is a FORMAL consultation by the Council – this is a legal requirement. The £12k was to do the FORMAL consultation which would include advertising the consultation in the Birmingham Mail.
Paragraph 3: “However, funding under the Local Improvement Budget was removed before the elections, so the scheme could not have been progressed further.”
FACT: This is total rubbish., The Local Improvement Budget was NOT removed before the elections. The Local Improvement Budget was temporarily suspended by the incoming Labour administration, so as to be reviewed. Nearly all the projects were allowed to go ahead after the review. The £12k for Drayton Road and Institute Road was not and was formally handed back to the corporate centre at the Cabinet meeting on 19th November 2012.
FACT: The Road Safety Commission was announced in June by the two Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Labour Councillor. At time of writing this blog, it has only had one meeting: 11th September. No further meetings are yet planned. One meeting in 6 months!!!!
Paragraph 5: “However, it goes without saying that any move to create permanent one-way systems would be subject to the availability of funding and consultation with the residents of a number of streets including Drayton, Institute and Goldsmiths Roads.”
FACT: The £12k to do this consultation was in place, but given away by Moseley and Kings Heath’s two Labour Councillor
If our two Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Councillors can’t get their facts right on the simple issue of a one-way system in two Kings Heath roads, then what hope do we have they'll get their facts right on the bigger schemes like Wheelie bins?