Clear public support for HEREFORD BYPASS – Real or fake news?

The correspondence below illustrates how public support for the Hereford Bypass is being mis-represented. Our position is that the recent consultation showed that only 41% of the public who took part want a Bypass. And some of the 41% may have been saying Yes to an Eastern Bypass.

By ‘working the numbers’ Herefordshire Council wants us to believe that the level of support is actually 59%.

Either way, there is clearly not overwhelming support!

And if the decision to go ahead with the Bypass was made back in 2015, why ask the public in 2018 if they support it?

From Jeremy Milln:

Dear Councillor Price,

You didn’t answer my supplementary question at Cabinet meeting this morning (27 July), complaining you could not hear it properly and promised to answer it after the meeting.

An answer, and I mean a direct answer to the question as posed and not a ‘response’ which argues or equivocates, is respectfully requested.

For ease of reference, here is the text:

Obviously if you are prepared to count only a subset of respondents, you will skew the percentage. The fact remains 1789 ticking ‘yes’ to a bypass out of 4351 is 41%, and the report adds that 1747 indicating a preferred route is just 40%. We now learn quite a few volunteered preference for an Eastern route, so the actual percentage supporting a Western will be only thirty something percent, and of those only 121 or about 3% voted positively for the Red Route.

Yet I am reminded that at Full Council on 9th March, the Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said “it would be wrong to set a percentage” to the question and he is recorded as adding he would press on with his bypass no matter what. In that case would he kindly beg our indulgence for misleading us to thinking we had a say and for spending public money collecting data he uses as he chooses?

I must correct your reply to my original question, and the Consultants’ presentation on the results of the Consultation where the line ‘59% agreed a bypass form part of the package’ was mischievously repeated in one of the slides.  This ignores the significance of the fact a very large number of respondents declined to be drawn on the subject of a bypass at all.

The message from the Consultation and from the IoC, Green and Independent group presentations, is that it is overwhelmingly the active/sustainable transport measures people want.  Also that few outside the conservative group – and I suspect several thoughtful individuals within the conservative group –  buy the narrative this is only to be considered if, at ruinous environmental and financial cost, we accept your ‘bypass’ and masses of car-dependent urban sprawl.  This is outdated 1970s thinking when, for the sake of our health and well-being we need to embrace 21st century values and behaviors in a convincing and enlightened way.

Yours sincerely

Jeremy Milln

For reference, here are the council meeting public questions and answers on the subject:

Cabinet 27 July 2018

Submitted Question: Para 11 of the report for Cabinet, states ‘A total of 4,351 questionnaires were either fully or partially completed’, and in para 15, ‘1789 of these respondents (59%) said they agreed that a bypass should from part of the package’. The claim, at para 24, that this represents a majority is untruthful, since of course 1789 respondents ticking ‘yes’ from a total of 4351 questionnaires is 41% not 59%. What is the number or proportion of this 41% who, in the consultation form comments boxes, indicated a preference for an Eastern route?

 Response

I must correct the statement included in the question; the Phase 2 Consultation Report is not untruthful. Paragraph 15 of the Cabinet Report is quite clear that 3,033 people responded to the question ‘Do you agree that a bypass should form part of the package?’ Of these respondents, 1,789 (or 59%) said that they agreed a bypass should form part of the package. This indicates clear support for the bypass.

Full Council 9 March 2018

Submitted Question: The Hereford Transport Package consultation asks respondents if they agree that a bypass should form part of a package. What percentage answering No to this question will result in the bypass proposals being dropped?

Response: It would be wrong to set a percentage in relation to a single question as you propose – this is a consultation not a referendum. To do so would be to disregard the comprehensive evidence base which informed the Core Strategy adopted by Council in 2015 and which confirms that the bypass scheme is needed to deliver the county’s growth.

5 August – Walk and tea with Edward and Jacky, near Peterchurch

Meet at 2.30pm at Brockwell, Long Lane, Peterchurch HR2 0TE. The house is on the right hand side of the lane as you go up, almost exactly a mile from the junction with the B-Road. Look for a white building that has a wall out on the road. To find us, you turn immediately beside the Nags Head pub – this is on the B-Road, and at the very Western end of Peterchurch. Turn left here if coming from the Hereford direction (or right if coming from Dorstone) and then carry on for a mile going straight over at a small cross road.

The walk will include a tour of newly restored Snodhill Castle.

House phone number is 01981 551195. My mobile is 07905 304728 but signal round here is patchy.

 

Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance needs your help

An important petition to sign please!

Green Energy for the Wellbeing of Future Generations in Wales

The Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (WANA) is becoming increasingly concerned about what is happening in Wales and surrounding areas around energy.

New nuclear reactors are planned on Anglesey and SMR’s at Trawsfynydd, radioactive mud is about to be dumped in the Cardiff Grounds from construction at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station (Somerset) and the Swansea Tidal Lagoon has just been ditched.

This UK Government is totally sold on an outdated and dangerous nuclear programme that will cost the earth and leave radioactive waste behind for decades for future generations to deal with.

more at https://www.facebook.com/WANA-1837140856315591/ and https://www.wana.wales/

“MUST WE REALLY ALL GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP?”

There was standing room only on 17 July in Hereford’s Left Bank main hall for a talk on “Brexit – Where’s it going?” – by Green Party MEP and economist Molly Scott Cato.

 

Molly (pictured with Green county councillors Felicity Norman, left, and Ellie Chowns, right) the Green Party speaker on Brexit made a passionate and powerful plea for a ‘People’s Vote’ – a second referendum.

 

 

“WOULD YOU BUY THIS HOUSE?”

She likened the Brexit saga to buying a house. You put in your offer to purchase but then you get the results of the structural survey which shows you are about to buy a load of trouble. To those claiming a second referendum would be ‘undemocratic’ she quoted (of all people!) former Tory Brexit secretary David Davis who once said: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”


So much more is known now than when the public voted in the referendum, she said. The government’s own studies into the impacts of Brexit show it will be disastrous for the economy. Molly, who is on the EU Parliament Agriculture Committee, said UK farming is one of the sectors that will be badly. Crops are already rotting in the fields of Cornwall due to lack of labour and lamb exports to the EU are set to be hit by a 40 per cent tariff when we leave ‘the club.’


“TRUMP AND PUTIN UNDERMINING EU”


Globally, Putin’s Russia is waging a cyber war against democracies and tried to influence the outcome of the UK referendum. Both Trump and Putin aim to undermine the EU.
At home, ‘dark money’ is influencing events. The ‘Leave’ campaigns – one headed by Michael Gove and cabinet chums and the other by UKIP’s Nigel Farage – have been found to have breached electoral law and fined with some organisers now referred to the police.


“It is quite clear the mandate for Brexit lies buried beneath countless occurrences of cheating, voter manipulation and electoral law-breaking, “ said Molly.


With the Tories divided, Labour mute and parliament deadlocked, voters should be given the opportunity to vote on the Brexit deal, she said, adding:“There is a growing chorus from all parts of the political spectrum – I believe momentum is really building for a people’s vote.”


The event, chaired by Diana Toynbee of Hereford Greens, featured a wide-ranging discussion with Molly Scott Cato answering many questions from the audience.


Asked “What can we do? Molly urged people to get involved with the local Herefordshire For Europe campaign whose organisers took part in the event.

(report by Pete Blench)

Hereford Times letter – Buses in Crisis

From Trish Marsh, published 19 July 2018

Dear Editor,

Herefordshire looks set to be squeezed over transport choices due to bus service cuts and an anticipated rise in fuel duty.

A new national report – ‘Buses in Crisis’ – shows Herefordshire is hardest hit in the West Midlands following 31.25% cuts to council funding of bus services from 2010/11. Shropshire made 3.8% cuts to buses, Worcestershire 11% and Staffordshire 20%.

Many of our rural residents, young people and the elderly bear the brunt. The number of our residents aged over 65 is 24 per cent above the national average and rising. At a time when people might otherwise think of giving up their car because of costs and health reasons car use here is increasing.

A shrinking public transport network means more cars on our roads, more problems in meeting environmental goals and health risks for residents unfortunate enough to live near traffic pollution hotspots.

Herefordshire Council must act to prevent further bus losses and join other councils to vigorously make the case to Central Government for a new deal on public transport. Last year local-authority bus budgets were slashed by £20 million due to lack of government funding.

Yet at the same time more than £50 BILLION is being spent on the widely criticised HS2 vanity project which will cause major environmental damage and benefit few. (The Institute of Economic Affairs says there is “no economic case” for HS2).

Money would be better invested in local public transport services in Herefordshire and across the country.

Councillor Trish Marsh,

Green group leader,

Herefordshire Council

ELLIE CHOWNS RE-SELECTED AS NORTH HEREFORDSHIRE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE

North Herefordshire Green Party selected Ellie Chowns as its prospective parliamentary candidate at a constituency meeting in Leominster last week.

Dr Chowns, of Canon Frome near Ledbury, the mother of two teenage sons, first contested the North Herefordshire seat for the Greens at the 2017 general election. Later the same year she won a Herefordshire Council by-election with a large majority in the formerly safe Conservative ward of Bishops Frome & Cradley.

She told her selection meeting: “I pledge to work with all others of goodwill to build an alternative to the old-style politics that has failed us all. Politics today alternates between stalemate and crisis due to selfish agendas and short-sightedness.

“We need to look to the future and think about what sort of world we want to create for today’s young people. That means building a sustainable, locally-rooted economy that provides decent jobs and homes for all, and helps small businesses thrive.

“It means creating a fair society and strong communities, with proper investment in the NHS, education, social care and public transport. And it means protecting the environment on which we all ultimately depend.”

Dr Chowns added: “The Green Party offers a fresh, honest approach to politics: principled opposition, constructive solutions, and a willingness to look for common ground. In these times of upheaval, more Green voices of reason are needed at all levels.”

17 July – Molly Scott Cato talk on Brexit

Brexit – What’s really going on?

Join us for a lively update from MEP Molly Scott Cato

Keeping up with what’s going on with Brexit? Unsure who is running the negotiations? Curious about all the recent revelations of law-breaking, cheating and overspending?

This Brexit update from Brussels by Molly Scott Cato MEP will shine a light on a very complex issue. Amongst a range of issues she will look at the possible impact upon farming, climate policies and trade, and will talk about the main people driving Brexit and their motivations.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the issues of Brexit from an MEP working in Brussels and the UK, who understands the issues and regularly meets with experts to understand what Brexit could mean for the country, business and the people who live here.

 

FREE entry – 7pm at Hereford Left Bank