Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
 
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Press Release - 30 January 2007

BBEG write a further two letters to Lincolnshire County Council about the information requested under the Freedom of Information Act that has not yet been provided

1. Freedom of Information Act

To: Amy Hall
Senior Legal Officer
Lincolnshire County Council

30 January 2007

Dear Amy

We have received a letter from the Information Commissioner's Office asking if our group requires them to look into this issue for us. I am therefore asking for one last time, when will the Council respond to this request and answer the questions we have asked. Unless we receive a response from you, we will have no choice but to ask for the Information Commissioner to investigate further.

As you may be aware, the Boston Bypass Pressure Groups held a Public Meeting last night and the public at the meeting clearly wanted the pressure groups to continue the campaign. See: http://www.bbeg.org.uk/publicmeeting29012007.htm

We stated at the meeting that we would therefore ask these questions under the Freedom of Information Act:

1. Has Boston Borough or Lincolnshire County Council entered into any binding contract agreement with contractors to start work on the Southern Link Road?

2. If so, when was this contract signed?

3. What are the financial implications if they don’t proceed with the Southern Link Road?

We would therefore be grateful if you could reply to the above three questions as well as responding to the three questions below please:

1. The comment about David Woods, which states "in the same vein that he has attended meetings with BBPG & BBEG and therefore no conflict exists" is not acceptable to us. Mentioning a meeting with the pressure groups is not appropriate as we are not bidding for a contract. Concerns were raised and documented within LCC Joint Officer Group (JOG) Minutes. What were their concerns at the time? Why didn't he also meet with Allison Homes who are also trying to bid for a contract? What was the exact purpose of this meeting and who exactly attended please?

2. Lincolnshire County Council have stated that no Joint Officer Group meeting took place on 24 May 2006 - we don't believe this is the truth. There must be a set of Notes/Minutes from that meeting on 24 May 2006 which we have not been given. Please can you explain the fact that the Notes from the following meeting on 16 June do not cross reference back to the so called previous meeting which you claim was the meeting that took place on 22 March. Where are the Notes from the meeting of 24 May 2006 please?

3. The first lot of data provided under the FOI Act was posted and was original documentation from LCC/Jacobs Babtie. The second and third lots of data provided were sent electronically by email and each document has been specifically created for us - ie. each file has 'FOI' in the name. We believe we are only being given documentation you want us to see. Why were specific documents created for us and why did we not receive the original Minutes as with the first lot of data please? The JOG Minutes of 16 June simply state "Actions done" for many of the points which don't cross reference - have these been removed/edited to conceal what was in the preceding missing Minutes? What actions were done please (supplying full details and cross references to the preceding Minutes to support this)?

Yours sincerely


Robert Fisher
Chair, Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
www.bbeg.org.uk
30 January 2007

 

2. Letter to Acting Monitoring Officer, Lincolnshire County Council

Mr David O’Connor
Acting Monitoring Officer
Lincolnshire County Council
County Offices
Newland
Lincoln
LN1 1YS

30 January 2007

Dear David

Further to your email and our public meeting last night - http://www.bbeg.org.uk/publicmeeting29012007.htm, I attach for your information details of the latest correspondence from the Information Commissioner's Office and our email this morning to LCC.

With regard to a more specific point that we wish to raise, I would refer to the presentation I did at the public meeting last night about the requests for something to be done about the number of traffic lights in Boston, first mentioned TWO YEARS AND TWO MONTHS ago at the public meeting in Nov 2004, which resulted in several varying comments over time from Officers as follows:

“The traffic lights are here to stay.” (Sept 2005)

“If the Councillor keeps on about the number of traffic lights, I can always put even more up!” (A subsequent meeting between Councillors and Officers)

“We’re not adverse to taking them out, but we need to model what the impact would be.” (Recent local press article by an Officer)

We consider this to be a totally unacceptable approach - firstly on the grounds of the attitude of Officers in their reluctance to even consider listening to voices of reason, and secondly, that as confirmed at the Scrutiny Management Meeting on Thursday last week, absolutely no work has been undertaken whatsoever in looking at this important issue for the people of Boston. This, despite a promise by the Portfolio Holder for Highways last July to go back to Lincoln and look at turning off the lights at Bargate roundabout as a trial, and two subsequent follow up letters to him from our group, which were ignored.

Which independent auditors and inspectors have the authority to step in and stop Officers from dictating what will happen against the wishes of the public who elect Councillors to represent them please?

I look forward to hearing back from you on all the points we have raised in our recent emails to you, before taking this forward to the Standards Board, as suggested to us in one of the letters from the Local Government Ombudsman.

Yours sincerely

 

ROBERT FISHER
for and on behalf of the Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
www.bbeg.org.uk
30 January 2007