The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, Cotterill on the Council

The results of bloody mindedness (2)

03.24.09 | Comment?

Because I’m bloody-minded, this is what tonight’s Cabinet papers say about the LSP’s Integrated Transport Plan:

‘It is proposed that the District Council endorse the Action Plan and that the thematic group continues to drive forward its implementation. It is also proposed that the Thematic Working Group ensures that the future work includes improvements that will benefit the rural areas and specifically the least accessible areas of Bickerstaffe, Crawford, Great Altcar, Holmeswood, Roby Mill andNewburgh.’

 It wouldn’t have said that, and there would not have been a formal commitment to trying to sort out public transport in these areas, if I’d not:

a) Read papers in detail, done some cross-referencing, and realised there was a total mismatch between the Action Plan and an earlier consultancy report, with rural transport needs totally left out, and opportunities ignored;

b) Put the matter on the agenda at an Internal Overview & Scrutiny meeting, argued my case against the heckles of Conservatives for focusing on the needs of my ward and not theirs, and finally winning the vote to send the matter to Cabinet;

c) Reviewing the Cabinet discussion, deciding the decision was not robust enough, and calling it into Executive Overview & Scrutiny, to be duly heckled by the Chairman for focusing on the needs of my ward and not others, but then getting a commitment from the Portfolio Holder to look at the matter again without it being formally referred back to Cabinet (which I accepted).

There’s a long way to go before we see any real improvements, but because I’m a bolshie git, we’re starting to get somewhere.

It’s also worth noting that the consultancy report indicating Bickerstaffe is the most inaccessible ward in West Lancashire is now about a year old, and the Council’s only now getting round to putting it in the action plan……

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