There is cross party consensus that there is a problem, the challenge is doing anything to actually fix it. The pie chart shown above is from the data provided from the consultation (I put in an FOI request to get the breakdown - view pdf here) . I've added an extra layer, which broadly categorises the comments into people who agree there is a problem, those who think there isn't one, those who are undecided, and people using the consultation to flag other issues.
It is worth, in my view, re-visiting part of the conclusion made by the highway engineers/officers who wrote report 13-741:
There is a possibility that there will be a increase in traffic flows in some residential roads due to transfer of traffic on account of the point closures, but this will be offset by the forecasted reduction in traffic over the larger area.In my view, the officers are stating that resident concerns of an increase in traffic are unlikely to be realised because of the forecasted reduction in traffic over the larger area.
Labour and Conservative councillors on the committee were unanimous in their view that nothing more should be done here in supporting the recommendations in paper 14-371. I should also add, that in my view officers made exactly the right recommendation. Officers work in a political environment where they need to respond to the councillors who are elected to represent us.
It does beg the question, can local people really be too surprised if long standing problems aren't fixed when neither of the two elected parties are prepared to call for any real action? This was the 4th consultation for the same problem in 12 years. No action has been suggested to date (that I'm aware of) by either of the elected parties to resolve this.
With my Lib Dem colleagues we will continue to work hard to get action to fix long standing local problems. That frustration was what led me to stand in the local elections. Officers frequently know how to fix local issues, but all too often our politicians get in the way.
If you are tired and frustrated by the lack of any real action do get in touch. There is a group of people locally who really do want to make a difference. I hope that in future elections people will be able to scrutinise the record of action, or lack thereof, to sort out local problems by those political groups who currently represent us. Maybe in the future we'll have a few more people supporting the Lib Dems locally, and we can really start to fix some of these issues.