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Further "communications" with Poole Council - competence of road safety decision making - almost unbelievable

Dear Cllr Clements,

I won't bother writing, but for the benefit of anyone else who may be interested:

I am astonished that anyone could demonstrate such a capability to avoid seeing the simple truths in front of them. Your answer demonstrates beyond all doubt that you have not grasped the basic principles I have put to you, which should be second nature to anyone with such responsibilities. "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts". 

The only opinion I am presenting is that professional process should be used in decisions involving safety and spend of critical resources. The fact that you have indicated that your opinion conflicts with this is proof that you really should not be let anywhere near such decisions. I do actually understand that our opinions are different on this, but I have explained the reasoning why I believe my opinion to be right. If you want your disagreement with this to be credible, please offer an explanation.

Once things are based on professional process, no opinions are necessary, mine, yours or anyone else's. If no credible case can be found for a project, it's a no-brainer, don't do it, as there should be plenty of projects on the list that do have credible cases. It is not my opinion that the case presented to support the lights at Fleetsbridge was flawed, the case WAS flawed, and the persistent refusal of anyone to say otherwise is proving it further. I won't repeat the simple question yet again that seems to be causing Poole Council so much difficulty.

I am almost lost for words that my suggestions to base these decisions on professional measurable cases are clearly completely alien to Poole Council, but it does fit with what I have seen.

Does anyone else really not get this still? It is clear why no one wants communication on this - communication reveals the truth.

Just in case anyone is interested, here's a suggestion:

It should be possible, for every potential project, to estimate benefit (positive or negative) for a number of parameters,  such as:

-Safety benefit(ksi's per year)

-effect on flow (vehicles / hour)

-effect on immediate community (noise, etc)

-project cost

-project disruption

-restriction of normal, safe behavior

etc.

Of course these things can only be estimates but they MUST consider all factors properly - it only works if it is being used in a completely unbiased way.

These individual parameters can be weighted and summed, to produce a project benefit "score". All projects should be considered equally, including spend on road safety enforcements, speed limit reductions, etc.

Then, all you have to do, is to do the projects in order of highest score as the available funds allow.

It might seem too simple but it is surprising how well this approach works with all sorts of things. Rather than, for example, looking at a traffic calming suggestion in Sandbanks in isolation and deciding yes or no, properly score it, and give it a position in the list. If it makes the top 10 it will probably be done, if it doesn't, it probably won't. No need for discussion, debate, meetings, angry residents, etc, once they see methodology and that their case is a fair part of it, there simply can't be dispute.  

I really don't mind helping with this.

  

Ian B.

 

As you seem incapable of understanding that others may sometimes have a different opinion to you and seem determined to abuse my accessibility by bombarding me with your opinions, I have resorted to the other option of stopping your e-mails i.e. blocking you from my mailbox.

I do not think you are one of my constituents but if you are and have some other reason to contact me, you can write to me c/o the civic centre.

From: Ian Belchamber [mailto:ian@belchamber.net]
Sent: 03 March 2012 14:20
To: Brian Clements (Cllr); Tony Trent; Elaine Buckley
Cc: Julian McLaughlin; BROOKEA@parliament.uk; Philip Eades (Cllr); Martin Baker; Steve Tite; linday.wilson@poole.gov.uk; Graham Chandler (Cllr); Leslie Burden (Cllr); John Rampton (Cllr); Colin Searle; Xena Dion (Cllr); Stephen Rollo-Smith (Cllr); Ruth Pearson - Strategy Directorate; John McBride; Marbellys Bayne-Azcarate; Jim Bright
Subject: Re: Complaint 101000275043 - Mr Belchamber

Dear Cllr Clements / all,

The way to stop these emails going to everyone is for someone to show some professionalism and DEAL WITH THE ISSUES. The refusal to do this is the only reason that we are not moving forward.

To repeat once again, the primary issue at that moment is the fact that the only case produced supporting the traffic lights at Fleetsbridge, now fitted twice, has no credibility, and the evidence is that these lights only cause unnecessary congestion / cost / wasted time and have probably increased accidents overall. It seems the council are still telling us the lights are necessary, for the sole reason that they don't want to admit a mistake. This is obviously not the way that those responsible for such decisions should behave and it seems that this poor quality in decision making has resulted in a number of other bad decisions.

Why can no one answer my simple question? Is it because it will start to uncover the truth? If the truth is inconvenient for the council then that is unfortunate but you are simply digging the hole deeper by trying to ignore the issue and hoping it will go away, it will not and the sooner someone realises this and starts trying to improve process the better for all. .

I ask again, please can ANYONE either:

  1. Tell me that you believe the entire 3.9 accident reduction is due to the lights and not at all due to the numerous other factors I have mentioned, in which case, please explain why the other factors could not possibly have reduced accidents, or:
  2. Agree with me that the information provided by the officers was flawed.

If 2 above, please tell me what else was going on in that meeting other than personal opinion.

Otherwise, please agree with me that my concerns about decisions being based on the opinions of a few laypersons are justified. Please stop avoiding this point.

Ian Belchamber

 
--------------------------------------------------
From: "Brian Clements (Cllr)" <b.clements@poole.gov.uk>
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 11:35 AM
Subject: RE: Complaint 101000275043 - Mr Belchamber

> Please remove me from your distribution list.
> Brian Clements
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Belchamber [mailto:ian@belchamber.net]
> Sent: 02 March 2012 10:34
> To: Tony Trent; Elaine Buckley
> Cc: Julian McLaughlin; BROOKEA@parliament.uk; Philip Eades (Cllr); Martin Baker; Steve Tite; linday.wilson@poole.gov.uk; Graham Chandler (Cllr); Leslie Burden (Cllr); John Rampton (Cllr); Brian Clements (Cllr); 'Colin Searle'; Xena Dion (Cllr); Stephen Rollo-Smith (Cllr); Ruth Pearson - Strategy Directorate; John McBride
> Subject: Re: Complaint 101000275043 - Mr Belchamber
>
> "So the views of a maverick expert or two fed through a person with a
> particular agenda should take precedence..."
>
> If you believe I have a "particular agenda" could you let me know what you
> think it is? I am only interested in maximising accident reduction and cost
> effectiveness, I have pointed out countless times why I believe this is not
> being delivered, and have been ignored those countless times, from the
> start. I am independent, I do not gain from enforcement activities, road
> contracts, etc. only from being able to get from A to B safely and without
> wasting time. And just to be clear, my views are not necessarily that we
> should or should not have traffic lights on roundabouts, speed limit
> reduction, calming, etc, only that we should have PROFESSIONAL PROCESS to
> make these decisions. If I was not having this debate with Poole Council, I
> would be astonished that ANYONE would not agree with this view.
>
> " ..  over the information supplied by professional officers..."
>
> The information (in the example I have given) was that the lights have
> resulted in a 3.9 accident per year reduction, and that therefore,
> reductions due to downward trend, accident relocation, the "efforts" of
> Dorset road safe, the remarking "clarifying movement across the junction",
> improved car technology etc, have reduced accidents by 0 (not to mention the
> fact that when full time lights were first introduced, the only opportunity
> to properly compare before and after with nothing else changed accidents
> INCREASED).
>
> I've lost count of the number of times I've pointed this out, and ALL
> involved have flatly refused to DEAL WITH THIS POINT. The information
> supplied by the professional officers was a farce, and everything that
> depended on this one factor, costs, disruption, etc etc therefore void.
>
> "... and the real life experience of local Councillors - who by the way are
> answerable to a lot of people with often differing views. For every "lets
> remove these lights, let's take out traffic calming and speed cameras" etc.
> etc. there are those who are calling for speed cameras in a certain
> location, lower speed limits (lots of demand for 20mph zones), traffic
> lights & traffic calming. "
>
> Exactly. The demands can never be entirely met, and will be conflicting.
> Everyone naturally wants all the protection on their doorstep (if it really
> is protection, as it has not turned out to be in Sterte). This is exactly
> why proper evaluation of all the factors and a proper process is needed. I
> lead a commercial development team and have many opinions and a great deal
> of experience but STILL if a junior engineer suggests something different I
> will tell them to go and do a study and prove it one way or another. I am
> often surprised and delighted by what can result from this approach. The
> demands are sufficient that if something should be done, a proper case for
> it should be identifiable and quantifiable. If a proper case cannot be
> found, alarm bells should ring. What I saw was something more like "oh, the
> only evidence we have is nonsense, never mind, we've done it anyway now,
> just carry on and ignore it, we don't want to admit a mistake"
>
> " All aspects are weighed up to a point (usually arrived at when they cease
> to be relevant to the actual matter), though some points do start to wear
> thin after constant and sometimes inappropriate repetition. Sadly within
> this constant repetition of negativity there is the occasional good point
> that gets lost on most (or ends up in the "spam" tray). The parable of the
> boy who cries wolf springs to mind!"
>
>
> Please detail ANYTHING I have ever written to which you can present a proper
> credible challenge. The boy who "cried wolf" said something that was not
> true. Please detail, again, anything that I have said which is not true.
> This invitation goes to anyone.
>
>
>
> Regards, Ian Belchamber.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Tony Trent" <tony@at07.co.uk>
> Sent: Friday, March 02, 2012 9:36 AM
> Subject: RE: Complaint 101000275043 - Mr Belchamber
>
>> So the views of a maverick expert or two fed through a person with a
>> particular agenda should take precedence over the information supplied by
>> professional officers and the real life experience of local Councillors -
>> who by the way are answerable to a lot of people with often differing
>> views.
>> For every "lets remove these lights, let's take out traffic calming and
>> speed cameras" etc. etc. there are those who are calling for speed cameras
>> in a certain location, lower speed limits (lots of demand for 20mph
>> zones),
>> traffic lights & traffic calming.
>> All aspects are weighed up to a point (usually arrived at when they cease
>> to
>> be relevant to the actual matter), though some points do start to wear
>> thin
>> after constant and sometimes inappropriate repetition. Sadly within this
>> constant repetition of negativity there is the occasional good point that
>> gets lost on most (or ends up in the "spam" tray). The parable of the boy
>> who cries wolf springs to mind!
>>