Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
 
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Press Release - 03 August 2006

BBEG take Formal Complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman

The BBEG have today emailed the Complaint Form to the Local Government Ombudsman as follows:


Which council or authority are you complaining about?

Lincolnshire County Council


Have you complained to the council or authority?

Yes


If you know, please say when you complained to the council or authority.

We have followed their complaint procedure as follows:

Stage 1 – 2 May 2006 - Read the letter...
LCC Response - 12 May 2006 - Read the letter...

Stage 2 - 23 May 2006 - Read the letter...
LCC Response - 8 June 2006 - Read the letter...

Stage 3 – 20 June 2006 - Read the letter...
Stage 3 - Second letter – 7 July 2006 - Read the letter...
LCC Chief Executive responded on 12 July 2006, stating, “The Chief Executive will decide whether to instigate an investigation and I will let you know the outcome of his decision as soon as possible.” Read the letter...


What do you think the council or authority did wrong?
The Department for Transport quotes a shared priority of “improving access to jobs and services … and reducing problems of congestion, pollution and safety.” The prioritisation of road construction by Lincolnshire County Council seems to go against the views of the public and Councillors elected to represent them.

Last year’s Audit Commission report resulted in Mr Speechley being imprisoned for 2 years. To state that his involvement was ‘very limited’ and related to a ‘small section of the route’ surely would not then warrant a 2 year custodial sentence?

Our formal complaint mentioned very clearly that Cllr Hill was in fact, we believe, Finance Chairman at the time (despite his recent comments in the May 2006 edition of County News) and he proceeded to get elected an entirely new executive from his own same political party. We understand that the whole current cabinet were supporting Mr Speechley as Councillors. Despite escalating costs to over £77 million, Lincolnshire County Council are proceeding with the plans for the A1073 whilst deciding that Boston is placed on an “aspirational list” and that “no work be undertaken on any aspirational schemes during the 2nd Local Transport Plan period”.

In addition, public opinion remains high. The preliminary result of the MORI survey in September 2005 saw the public put roads as a top priority and a bypass for Boston top of the list (23%). This poll seems to have been abandoned by LCC and an internal poll taken by County News, the Council’s own publication? The recent BBC Radio Lincolnshire text poll showed the highest number of votes cast for any feature they have done with Boston coming out at 81%, ahead of Lincoln (15%), Skegness and Stamford (2% each). More...

Why did LCC state that the Southern Link Road scheme in Boston was “simply unaffordable” and refuse to look at possibilities of placement of this road further out of town to avoid such heavy compensation costs at its proposed location? Surely by comparison the A1073 is actually far too costly?


How has this affected you?

Businesses in Boston are dying. Big stores are reporting high falls in turnover. Lorries are avoiding Boston, preferring the rat runs around Horncastle, Langrick, Hubberts Bridge, etc. Boston is choking on the fumes of pollution and congestion and the public who elect Councillors to represent them want something urgently done about it. Boston has to be a high priority, if not the highest in Lincolnshire at this point in time.


What do you think the council or authority should do to put things right?

Lincolnshire County Council should not be allowed to proceed with the A1073 in light of the events surrounding Mr Speechley and escalating costs. Lincolnshire County Council to date have refused to prioritise Boston for a bypass and the decision makers (LCC Executive Group) were hand picked by Martin Hill, Leader of LCC, from his own same political party, following the resignation of the former group as a result of the Audit Commission’s damning report last year. The Audit Commission have been copied with all stages of our group’s Formal Complaint. The Council have ignored Boston and delayed the issue long enough now. An external investigation needs to occur into why LCC have never requested funding from the Government for a bypass for Boston and moreover why they have put Boston on an “aspirational list” and decided that “no work be undertaken on any aspirational schemes during the 2nd Local Transport Plan period”, if we are to ever find a way forward.


Robert Fisher
For and on behalf of the Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
www.bbeg.org.uk
03 August 2006

 

Boston Transport Strategy?
The BBEG say: "You've had our views since 1992!
Boston Transport Strategy
"The traffic lights are here to stay."
Richard Wills, Lincolnshire County Council, 14 Sept 2005.
Read the BBEG leaflet...


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