20 mph – Spennymoor Labour backtrack.

I have had chance to view the videos on the above subject for Council meetings dated 7th June 2016 and 5th July 2016, I can see that there has been a change of mind on what was actually stated at the first meeting.

My motion and background information submitted to Council on 2nd June (detailed below) was not presented at the meeting of 7th June and instead an alternative motion introduced by Cllr. Geldard.  I felt able to support this alternative motion as Cllr. Geldard stated in principle ‘he’ agreed that the Town Council could support funding towards traffic control signage to operate at school start and end of day in our town council area but not on the timescale that I had suggested (September 2016) as there was no budget for this in the current financial year.  I assume he had his Group’s support when he made this statement.  No budget?  This is despite financial reserves and the significant spend proposed for community building maintenance – and even a potential for money to be found for a pit wheel project that none of our Group supported when it first came to Council.

What I heard from Labour group members at the meeting of 5th July was something entirely different to that first meeting.  This would now only be considered as and when representation came in from individual schools – and another interesting comment – when Durham County Council proposals had been considered by the Labour Group.  What a missed opportunity for the Town Council to put safety first in our Town and use initiative and funding to bring forward the pilot scheme to all schools in our area rather than be lead by the County Council on an as and when they get round to the next stage of the scheme which could be – whenever.  North Park Primary has already asked if the Town Council will support them in having traffic control measures considered for the roads around their school.  Councillor Foster is a Councillor for this area and is also a Governor at the school; I am sure he will see first hand the benefits of this initiative for his school.

Liz wrote to Spennymoor Town Council on the 2nd June 2016

“At the Policy & Resources Committee held on Tuesday, 3rd May, I moved and had seconded that Mr. Alan Gardner’s question on the “Slow to 20 for Safer Communities” scheme around schools should be brought back to Committee for further discussion.

It was RESOLVED in the minutes of 3rd May 2016 that the matter be referred to the next appropriate Standing Committee Agenda and this record was ratified by Council on Tuesday, 24th May 2016.

I would ask that a motion accompanies this question and be presented as follows:-

‘MOTION from Cllr. Mrs. E. Maddison that Members consider supporting funding of 20 mph flashing signage to operate at appointed times outside of all schools within the township and parishes of Spennymoor Town Council and work closely with Highways Authority officers of Durham County Council already familiar with such a scheme to enable the funding and installation of this signage and infrastructure during 2016.’
I would request that a copy of Durham County Council’s Cabinet report dated 11th May 2016 accompanies this motion as this gives information on the DCC ‘pilot’ scheme where DCC have already agreed to support funding of signage at two schools in Spennymoor, namely Rosa Street and King Street Schools, and also gives examples of the signage proposed at these locations.  This motion is for Spennymoor Town Council to support funding for signage adjacent to all schools in our area of responsibility within the township and parishes of Spennymoor and for this funding to be allocated to allow implementation during 2016.

As a Cabinet member supporting this pilot scheme he could have persuaded his Labour colleagues on the town council to support funding of the scheme for ALL Spennymoor schools in the first round so is there another reason that Labour members have had a change of mind from what they said originally.  Maybe someone could let me know.

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