Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 13, 2019

Down At The Old Cock And Bull

The anger in Aughton over dangerous Long Lane is almost palpable.

Some of the huge cash pile held by Aughton Parish Council is committed to spending on SPIDs, via a legal agreement with WLBC.

WLBC wrote in July 2018 “I can confirm that a decision was made to award grant funding to Aughton Parish Council for their SPID parish capital application on 23/5/18 and they were informed of this decision on the 25/5/18. The Borough Council will provide 50% match funding for this scheme with a maximum contribution of £3,000.

“Other terms and conditions for this scheme include: – The grant can only be used for the scheme specified and changes to the scheme need to be agreed in writing. – Payments will be made exclusive of VAT following submission of copy invoices. – The Parish Council shall be responsible for all operational matters during and following completion of the scheme and shall make adequate revenue provision to ensure that the scheme can continue in future years. – The scheme should be completed within 2 years. – The Borough Council may seek to recover part or its entire grant funding if the scheme is not delivered in line with the agreed terms and conditions”.

In December 2018 things got very uppity at the APC Meeting.

Minutes show that “A resident from Long Lane raised the outstanding issue of the provision of SpIDs. The Chairman gave an update on the project which was being undertaken by the Working Group and Lancashire County Council (LCC). As previously reported, the item would be raised on a future Agenda once all matters had been finalised with LCC Highways.

But a second resident from Long Lane spoke about speeding traffic on the Lane and circulated papers from the Road Safety Observatory on ‘Effectiveness of Speed Indicator Devices (SpIDs) v Traffic Calming Measures (TCM) on reducing vehicle speeds’. After further ‘discussion’ and some ‘unruly behaviour’ the Chairman closed Public Question Time at 7.45pm and all Parish Council Members left the room for an adjournment.

The Chairman reopened Public Question Time at 7.50pm.

He apologised for the problems Long Lane residents were having with ‘speeding vehicles’ – the County Council, the police and the speed tasking group had been made aware previously – and advised the local resident that the Parish Council was able to fund SpIDs and under working partnerships with WLBC & LCC, it was doing all it could to install several around the Parish, including Long Lane, according to the specific criteria laid down. The Parish Council did not have the power to install TCMs but the SpID Working Group would discuss ‘how best to proceed with Long Lane’ at its next meeting in January. [Pass the buck time! Jobsworths to blame?]

The January APC Minutes haven’t been published, but SPIDs weren’t included on the agenda. Nor were they included for the February agenda. Shows how urgent SPIDs are with the APC?

We did note though that the December 2018 Minutes included “TRO – consultation – February/April Parking Order (2018) various roads including West Lancashire LSG4/894.8702/AFR (to remove unnecessary and inconsiderate parking and improve the general movement of traffic along the road also to improve drivers forward visibility and improve overall road safety) – members noted the proposals but there was a need for proper enforcement of such measures”. Why include that if nothing is ever done about Long Lane?

Residents of Aughton might conclude the saga of Long Lane/Road Safety/SPIDs is simply a cock and bull story of obfuscation by the APC, as it protects its considerable cash piles from being used for the benefit of those who pay it, Aughton’s parishioners.


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