Speed campaign should not be turned into political football says Wisbech councillor

10:12 10 June 2014

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

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Saving lives should not be turned into political football, say Wisbech councillors, who are being opposed by Conservatives in a bid to launch a Twenty’s Plenty speed campaign.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

The idea was on the agenda of a town council meeting but has been put back for a month after it was labelled an electioneering campaign.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor who with husband Michael is spearheading the campaign said: “On Facebook someone wrote if the Bucknors found a cure for cancer, Tierney (Conservative) wouldn’t support!

“Drivers - by accident - have a 20% chance of killing someone at 30 mph but a 2.5% chance at 20. It’s supported by the Conservative Minister of Transport! “Residents are requesting it, our local school head supports it, parents raised this (independently) via a survey carried by the Orchards school in February, the local Police Inspector spoke in support last month and it’s supported by Police Commissioner Bright.

“We shall continue after next month to take a wider consultation with our residents to ensure it is supported broadly and just deal directly with Cambridgeshire County Council.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

“It seems the Wisbech Conservatives don’t even want to ask their own residents their views.”

In May Cllr Bucknor said Conservative town councillors held a closed meeting where a decision was made to not support the idea.

Cllr Bucknor said: “It would be naïve to believe local politics would ever be rid of party loyalties but to take a party view rather than an honestly thought-out community view, is not a true model of local democracy, as to do nothing should not be an option.

“If Conservative Town Councillors take this party line they would be denying their residents the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to support this initiative.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

“20 mph in residential areas, where appropriate, is supported by the Conservative Government. It is already enjoyed by 6 million people in England and growing.”

North Wisbech councillors have backed the idea but it is now the turn of southern town councillors to join the campaign.

“We could see no reason why the issue should be politicised,” Cllr Bucknor said.

“Saving lives should not be made a political football,” she said.

Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.Waterlees, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

The campaign is supported by Cllr Michael Bucknor (Independent), Cllr Virginia Bucknor (Independent), Cllr David Patrick (Independent), Cllr Robert McLaren (Independent), Cllr Reg Mee (Labour), Cllr Paul Clapp (UKIP), Cllr Alan Lay (UKIP), Dean Reeves (20/20 coordinator).

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