LETTER: Council berated and bullied
Unsurprisingly, there were two letters in your edition of January 5 from the high priests of the northern nimbies, Messrs Kirk and Tucker, rubbishing the proposed reinstatement of a proper consultation process to improve our traffic, and to restore faith and trust in that process.
Their only aim has always been to scotch any consideration of a northern bypass.
Faced with the possibility of a proper transparent consultation process, they now resort to attacking the leader of our county council. Their thrust is remarkably consistent, and reveals probable collusion, and possible direction.
I was at the WSCC meeting of the 5 January 2016, a meeting packed by anti-northern bypass people, who berated and bullied the council, and particularly Ms Goldsmith, in vitriolic terms, that the forthcoming consultation still appeared to include northern routes, and that these were not previously advocated by WSCC.
Obviously dismayed by her call for transparency, they now return to vilifying one person of the council.
It is not Louise Goldsmith that has been ‘less than forthcoming’ in this sorry saga. Rather, this accolade should be reserved for Highways England, for their incompetent and evasive handling of the original cancelled consultation; I note also that your correspondents do not comment on the previous ministerial input, which cancelled that consultation at very short notice, when venues had already been booked, which suddenly discarded the northern options, giving only the explanation that they ‘could impact on the Goodwood Estate’.
It is clear that Mrs Goldsmith acted within the remit of WSCC to send her letter to the CEO of Highways England.
Her intervention followed the decision of the responsible cabinet member of the county council not to recommend any of the five options presented by HE in the consultation, but to ask for a reinstatement of all of them, including the previously discarded northern routes, and the recent statement of the Secretary of State to the Conservative Association that, given enough support, he would be prepared to consider a rerun of the consultation.
We are delighted that the leader of the CDC appears now to share the view of Mrs Goldsmith.