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  1. Published on: 22/11/2021 12:03 PMReported by: editor
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    Cllr John Pugh, Liberal Democrat leader on Sefton Council has expressed concern that Boris Johnson’s government is creating needless confusion in the way they promote cycle lanes and hindering sensible local decision making.

    This follows the recent statement of the minister in charge of cycling, Chris Heaton-Harris that

    “Local authorities do not need to show that schemes are universally popular at the time of introduction”. (1)

    According the Cllr. Pugh, “It has been generally assumed by councillors and Sefton officers that schemes subject to consultation require “broad general support”.

    On that basis the current crop of Southport schemes that have been consulted on would be “dead in the water” due to the high level of public concern and opposition established during the consultation process.

    However, the Cycling Minister’s statement muddies the water and might encourage the Council to proceed without broad public support. Certainly there is no sign of the government ceasing to funnel cash Sefton’s way for these schemes or setting any robust conditions that need to be met. (2)

    There is a worrying evasiveness in the Conservative government’s stance here.

    “I invited the Cycling Minister down to see the routes Sefton introduced under the Covid emergency regulations (3) .He declined. I enquired too whether Minister would clawback money from schemes that turned out to be futile or daft. (4) Again there was an unwillingness to do much beyond keep handing out the cash.”

    The reality is that Sefton is spending the Government's money on cycle schemes and the Conservative government seem strangely unconcerned about how they do it. Possibly they want the Council to turn a deaf ear to public opinion".

    Editorial notes:
    1) quote from Hansard November 3rd in response to a question from Damien Moore.
    (2) Cycle Lanes are funded from Sefton’s Active Travel Fund - specifically grant aided by HM Treasury
    (3) Letter to Chris Heaion Harris attached 16/1/21- see https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/517061470 - Video link can be used in press/media
    (4) Letter Attached 19/7/21

    Dear Chris,
    In our time on the Public Accounts Committee the stress was always on value for money. As the minister for cycling you will have presided over the £250 m -Emergency Active Travel Fund.

    There is always a trade off between spending money quickly and spending it well and given the extraordinary truncated timetables for the use and implementation, the use of emergency traffic orders etc, the scheme would be excellent grist for the NAO mill.

    My purpose in writing to you is to invite you to Merseyside to see how that money is being spent. Money is relatively scarce in our area and certainly not to be spent unwisely. However, not every scheme developed in haste seems to have clear criteria against which success can be measured and some have created problem both for business and community facilities- churches, theatres etc.

    Unanticipated consequences are almost inevitable given the schedule demanded by government but probably more concerning is the absence of defined outcome measures underpinning scheme reviews.

    If there are some clear measurables which the department has in mind or a template for reviews , it would be enormously helpful to have sight of them. However, there is no substitute for real time observation and with that in mind can I invite you to look at some of our local schemes and meet proponents and opponents of them.

    Yours Sincerely, John Pugh

    Dear Grant,

    You will be aware that Sefton MBC has received grant allocation from DFT for Active Travel and the provision of cycle infrastructure which may include cycle lanes.

    The Prime Minister has advised councils to “crack on” with cycle lanes and Sefton has made proposals for the same that are currently out for consultation. I am aware of the updated conditions laid down for the consultation process. My enquiry concerns only how the results of that process have to be treated.

    Some cycle lane schemes may be both unpopular and misconceived and demonstrably lack “broad public support”.

    Is it the case that a cycle lane scheme of such description would still qualify for funding from the monies allocated to the Council by the DFT- should it be the Council’s intention to proceed with the scheme regardless ? Is the Council entirely free at its own discretion using DFT allocation to proceed equally with BOTH schemes that have “broad public support” and those that lack “broad support” ?

    My working assumption ,reinforced by the offer letter from the DFT to the Council, is that funding would not be available in the absence of broad public support from communities directly affected, but I would be grateful if you could confirm that.

    It would be helpful too if you could explain how any false or dubious claim by a Council to have ‘broad public support’ can be challenged and whether the department has any role in monitoring such claims.

    It is suggested that if a council transparently proceeds with a scheme on the basis of such a false or dubious claim, your department will seek to clawback any money spent on the scheme. Is this true ?

    I will be very grateful for clarification and hopefully a timely response.

    Many thanks

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    Your Comments:


  3. Little Londoner says:22/11/2021 12:45 PM
    We don't have a Government then it is a Dictatorship as many people have suggested since this imbecile of a Prime Idiot is concerned. Thankfully in this Country we have Elections and the further down the road of anti democracy the fool goes then we will be rid of the fool and his despicable Arrogant Little Posh Boys ( Tory MP's words not mine).

  4. Likes town36 liked this post
  5. town36 says:22/11/2021 01:46 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by editor View Post
    Name:  hoghton-bollards.JPG
Views: 0
Size:  301.6 KBCllr John Pugh, Liberal Democrat leader on Sefton Council has expressed concern that Boris Johnson’s government is creating needless confusion in the way they promote cycle lanes and hindering sensible local decision making.This follows the recent statement of the minister in charge of cycling, Chris Heaton-Harris that“Local authorities do not need to show that schemes are universally popular at the time of introduction”. (1)According the Cllr. Pugh, “It has been generally assumed by councillors and Sefton officers that schemes subject to consultation require “broad general support”. On that basis the current crop of Southport schemes that have been consulted on would be “dead in the water” due to the high level of public concern and opposition established during the consultation process.However, the Cycling Minister’s statement muddies the water and might encourage the Council to proceed without broad public support. Certainly there is no sign of the government ceasing to funnel cash Sefton’s way for these schemes or setting any robust conditions that need to be met. (2)There is a worrying evasiveness in the Conservative government’s stance here. “I invited the Cycling Minister down to see the routes Sefton introduced under the Covid emergency regulations (3) .He declined. I enquired too whether Minister would clawback money from schemes that turned out to be futile or daft. (4) Again there was an unwillingness to do much beyond keep handing out the cash.”The reality is that Sefton is spending the Government's money on cycle schemes and the Conservative government seem strangely unconcerned about how they do it. Possibly they want the Council to turn a deaf ear to public opinion".Editorial notes:1) quote from Hansard November 3rd in response to a question from Damien Moore.(2) Cycle Lanes are funded from Sefton’s Active Travel Fund - specifically grant aided by HM Treasury(3) Letter to Chris Heaion Harris attached 16/1/21- see https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/517061470 - Video link can be used in press/media(4) Letter Attached 19/7/21Dear Chris, In our time on the Public Accounts Committee the stress was always on value for money. As the minister for cycling you will have presided over the £250 m -Emergency Active Travel Fund. There is always a trade off between spending money quickly and spending it well and given the extraordinary truncated timetables for the use and implementation, the use of emergency traffic orders etc, the scheme would be excellent grist for the NAO mill. My purpose in writing to you is to invite you to Merseyside to see how that money is being spent. Money is relatively scarce in our area and certainly not to be spent unwisely. However, not every scheme developed in haste seems to have clear criteria against which success can be measured and some have created problem both for business and community facilities- churches, theatres etc. Unanticipated consequences are almost inevitable given the schedule demanded by government but probably more concerning is the absence of defined outcome measures underpinning scheme reviews. If there are some clear measurables which the department has in mind or a template for reviews , it would be enormously helpful to have sight of them. However, there is no substitute for real time observation and with that in mind can I invite you to look at some of our local schemes and meet proponents and opponents of them. Yours Sincerely, John PughDear Grant,You will be aware that Sefton MBC has received grant allocation from DFT for Active Travel and the provision of cycle infrastructure which may include cycle lanes.The Prime Minister has advised councils to “crack on” with cycle lanes and Sefton has made proposals for the same that are currently out for consultation. I am aware of the updated conditions laid down for the consultation process. My enquiry concerns only how the results of that process have to be treated.Some cycle lane schemes may be both unpopular and misconceived and demonstrably lack “broad public support”.Is it the case that a cycle lane scheme of such description would still qualify for funding from the monies allocated to the Council by the DFT- should it be the Council’s intention to proceed with the scheme regardless ? Is the Council entirely free at its own discretion using DFT allocation to proceed equally with BOTH schemes that have “broad public support” and those that lack “broad support” ?My working assumption ,reinforced by the offer letter from the DFT to the Council, is that funding would not be available in the absence of broad public support from communities directly affected, but I would be grateful if you could confirm that.It would be helpful too if you could explain how any false or dubious claim by a Council to have ‘broad public support’ can be challenged and whether the department has any role in monitoring such claims.It is suggested that if a council transparently proceeds with a scheme on the basis of such a false or dubious claim, your department will seek to clawback any money spent on the scheme. Is this true ?I will be very grateful for clarification and hopefully a timely response.Many thanks
    the king of sitting on the fence pugh , the leader of the lib dums whos people didnt even attend the meeting about the cycle lanes ? on your bike pugh

  6. SteveandLois says:22/11/2021 03:59 PM
    Nothing a JCB could'nt remove.

  7. Likes town36 liked this post
  8. The PNP says:22/11/2021 04:46 PM
    Glad to see sense has prevailed.....Relying on the motoring public to approve a modest loss of tarmac to cyclists, is like asking turkeys to vote for Xmas - it was never going to happen!

  9. Likes Cyclopath liked this post
    Dislikes Zed2021, silver fox disliked this post
  10. Little Londoner says:23/11/2021 09:17 AM
    Sense has prevailed ?? How would you know SENSE as far as you are concerned is non existent.

  11. Likes Zed2021 liked this post
  12. The PNP says:23/11/2021 09:34 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Londoner View Post
    Sense has prevailed ?? How would you know SENSE as far as you are concerned is non existent.
    Does it really make sense to keep on choking our roads with countless thousands of cars, when a fair chunk of that traffic could be reduced?

  13. Likes Cyclopath liked this post
    Dislikes Zed2021 disliked this post
  14. MICK/GILLY says:23/11/2021 01:47 PM
    People want to drive cars so there won’t be any less cars on the roads that were built for cars and painting a picture of a bicycle and a few dotted lines on them will make no difference as there’s no bicycles using them anyway, I did say all this time that talks were ok but councillors didn’t need to bother coming to them as having read the small print they know the money will rain down from above regardless as it’s already been set in stone and has nothing to do with public opinion, resistance or support.

  15. Dislikes lawed143, donkey22 disliked this post
  16. lawed143 says:23/11/2021 02:52 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MICK/GILLY View Post
    People want to drive cars so there won’t be any less cars on the roads that were built for cars and painting a picture of a bicycle and a few dotted lines on them will make no difference as there’s no bicycles using them anyway, I did say all this time that talks were ok but councillors didn’t need to bother coming to them as having read the small print they know the money will rain down from above regardless as it’s already been set in stone and has nothing to do with public opinion, resistance or support.
    Roads were built for cars.? Roads predate cars numpty…..

  17. Likes donkey22, The PNP liked this post
  18. MICK/GILLY says:23/11/2021 05:41 PM
    Oh dear here come all the same person, well you don’t see many Roman carts or carriages and as the word car is derived from such I think they WERE actually built for cars /carriages, movement of army's and trade, not bicycles . You really go to great lengths to wrongly argue with me you do, ha.

  19. Dislikes lawed143, donkey22 disliked this post
  20. donkey22 says:23/11/2021 07:28 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MICK/GILLY View Post
    People want to drive cars so there won’t be any less cars on the roads that were built for cars and painting a picture of a bicycle and a few dotted lines on them will make no difference as there’s no bicycles using them anyway, I did say all this time that talks were ok but councillors didn’t need to bother coming to them as having read the small print they know the money will rain down from above regardless as it’s already been set in stone and has nothing to do with public opinion, resistance or support.
    Quote Originally Posted by MICK/GILLY View Post
    Oh dear here come all the same person, well you don’t see many Roman carts or carriages and as the word car is derived from such I think they WERE actually built for cars /carriages, movement of army's and trade, not bicycles . You really go to great lengths to wrongly argue with me you do, ha.
    Lol, just because two posters dislike your sloppily written, grammatically appalling drivel, doesn’t mean it’s the same person.
    And the word car is actually derived from the Latin word carrus or carrum, meaning wheeled vehicle.

  21. Likes lawed143, Cyclopath liked this post
  22. The PNP says:23/11/2021 07:50 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MICK/GILLY View Post
    Oh dear here come all the same person, well you don’t see many Roman carts or carriages and as the word car is derived from such I think they WERE actually built for cars /carriages, movement of army's and trade, not bicycles . You really go to great lengths to wrongly argue with me you do, ha.
    Depends which 'roads' we're on about......Motorways for example were built for cars. Whereas most of Southports roads were created back in the horsedrawn era, i.e. their designers never envisaged the place being swamped by 30mph motor traffic/mass car ownership.

  23. Likes lawed143, Cyclopath liked this post
  24. MICK/GILLY says:23/11/2021 07:58 PM
    Yep we got the same old poster with his many accounts being argumentative again dismissing others with inaccurate claims of bad grammar and insults of low intelligence and going around the world to try and prove himself right while all the time knowing he got the phrase wrong and said car instead of motor car, I stand with all I have said how it was spelt and explained to you the same person . So don’t cry we all know, others are on to you now, it’s well known now . So say what you want in any guise I won’t argue with fools ( or fool ) and that’s probably why this councillor didn’t come to the meeting he knew the funding was going to rain down anyway regardless .

  25. Likes Cyclopath liked this post
    Dislikes lawed143, donkey22 disliked this post
  26. lawed143 says:23/11/2021 08:12 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by MICK/GILLY View Post
    Yep we got the same old poster with his many accounts being argumentative again dismissing others with inaccurate claims of bad grammar and insults of low intelligence and going around the world to try and prove himself right while all the time knowing he got the phrase wrong and said car instead of motor car, I stand with all I have said how it was spelt and explained to you the same person . So don’t cry we all know, others are on to you now, it’s well known now . So say what you want in any guise I won’t argue with fools ( or fool ) and that’s probably why this councillor didn’t come to the meeting he knew the funding was going to rain down anyway regardless .
    You really need to get out more Micky.
    Woohoo, our cycle lanes are coming yippee.!!!! Cant wait to use them and hear your whinging about them.....poor Micky.
    :-)

  27. Likes donkey22, Cyclopath liked this post
  28. silver fox says:23/11/2021 08:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by The PNP View Post
    Does it really make sense to keep on choking our roads with countless thousands of cars, when a fair chunk of that traffic could be reduced?
    Cycle lanes will not suddenly produce streams of cyclists and cars abandoned for ever.

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