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Competence of road safety decision making in Poole - Response from Jim Bright

 

 

I am not showing the response as it was marked private and confidential, but you can probably get a picture of what it was like from my reponse below.

 

Dear Mr Bright,

I am horrified, but not surprised, to find that as my investigations and complaints progress, I am simply uncovering more and more complacency and incompetence at higher and higher levels. This latest response is quite pitiful in relevance and detail and clearly an attempt to avoid dealing with the issues properly.   

  1. “I have reviewed the exchanges of correspondence between you and officers in this matter and I am satisfied that they have provided you with extensive explanations as to the information used.” Yes, I have received (some, not extensive) explanations as to the information used. This is not the point. It is the quality and accuracy of the information that is the point. Either you have not in fact looked at the correspondence between the officers and myself or you have not the faintest idea about what a credible statement concerning the complex issues of road safety should look like. And it does not look like comparing an accident count in one period with another, and saying that the reduction is due entirely to the factor you want it to be in order to try to cover up a mistake you have already made and not at all to the multitude of others. How many times do I have to explain this?
  1. “Elected members may use discretion” – Then they should not, certainly not on subjects of road safety and spend of critical money. There are many more demands for road safety resources than can ever be met, if there is a good case for an engineering spend then it should be possible to identify and quantify that case properly. If no proper case can be found, the work should not be done, and the money should be spent on a project that does have a proper case instead. If the work has already been done, a mistake has been made. Mistakes happen, the important thing is to not keep making the same mistakes over and over again, and you achieve this with professional process, and I have NEVER been in any less professional meeting than the TAG meeting I went to and the disasters coming out of Poole Council don’t surprise me.
  1. I am not concerned where the failings lie, TAG members, Cabinet, Portfolio Holder etc. etc. my complaint is against the Council as a whole and the council needs to sort it out and it is clearly in the public interest that this is done.
  1. I cannot believe that you are suggesting that a complaint against council policies / activities / projects which are clearly NOT in the public interest can only by made by someone directly effected! These are simply further examples of the inevitable bad results coming from road safety spend in Poole. All of these problems should be properly investigated so that, as I have mentioned above, they do not happen again.
  1. I see you have not chosen to comment about one councillor in particular, who has demonstrated on many occasions his total unsuitability for this kind of work, but has (quite fittingly perhaps) been chosen to lead Poole TAG meetings, it would be difficult even to make something like this up.

 

I cannot believe that YOU can be satisfied with your response and would like to give you the chance to deal with this properly. I will wait a short while for a proper response before passing this to the ombudsman.

Regards, Ian Belchamber