Press Release - 13 March
The BBEG write to the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
13 March 2007
Dear Prime Minister
LINCOLNSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
NEGLECT OF BOSTON, LINCOLNSHIRE
We write to you, Prime Minister, in disbelief, that in this day and age of democracy, Officers employed by Lincolnshire County Council, continue to be able to say and do what they like, apparently unchallenged. We have been campaigning for two years and four months so far, but a bypass for Boston has been well documented and awaited for years and years.
Boston is gridlocked as a result of a lack of a suitable bridge on the outskirts of the town. The economic viability of South Lincolnshire is being affected by this lack of support for the area. The air quality and pollution levels are not being taken into account. The approximate funding of £20 million earmarked for Boston has been taken away, leaving approximately £2.5 million being spent by LCC on a ridiculous road widening scheme within the town – another John Adams Way disaster, but this time with a bottleneck provided by the town’s railway crossing slap bang in the middle of it. We are extremely concerned about the safety of such a road widening proposal.
We wrote to the Leader of the Conservative Party on 27 Oct 2006, raising our concerns, as LCC is a Conservative run Council. Let us stress that our group is non-political – we are purely trying to end decades of neglect of Boston by LCC with regard to a decent road infrastructure.
David Cameron’s Office wrote to us on 13 Nov 2006 stating that: "County Councils are independent bodies and David Cameron has no say in their operation or running. The Councillors are democratically elected public servants and are subject to review by independent auditors and inspectors."
However, David Cameron’s Office have not supplied a subsequent answer to our question of which independent auditors and inspectors are able to stop the deliberate manipulation and repeated incompetence that has been demonstrated by Officers at LCC. Nor has the Acting Monitoring Officer at the Council.
The Local Government Ombudsman, the Audit Commission, the Standards Board and the Information Commissioner all have stated that they do not have the legal power to challenge the decisions made by Officers and the Executive of LCC.
Our latest Formal Complaint shows the extent the Officers will go to, including actually stating incorrect facts about the widening of the railway crossing in Boston to the Scrutiny Management Committee, in order to avoid resolving the traffic congestion in Boston by including a decent road infrastructure around the town in the Local Transport Plan:
Such comments as “the traffic lights are here to stay” and “if the Councillor keeps going on about the traffic lights I will put even more up”, we feel are completely unacceptable comments for an Officer to make.
Continuing examples of wasting public monies by making bad decisions and subsequently having to undo the work done, concern us greatly. Who is ensuring that these Officers have the necessary experience to advise Councillors appropriately? Who is asking why there are such a high number of road accidents in Lincolnshire in the first place?
We will be putting together a media video over the next few weeks showing the extent of the problem in Boston and hope to interview key personnel who should be in a position to do something about it. However, there has been underlying reluctance so far to support a road infrastructure for Boston, which we feel needs to be investigated thoroughly, by an independent authority with the power to carry out such an inspection. Why is there such reluctance?
We therefore ask for your support in putting together a suitable inspection team with such authority to bring an end to the current situation at Lincolnshire County Council with regard to Boston.
We thank you for your time and look forward to your earliest reply.
Chair, Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
13 March 2007