Thursday, April 20, 2006

How do We Change Council Policy?

Rugby Borough Council was rated as inadequate in many areas in a Government report in 2004. Among other things, the Comprehensive Performance Assessment report (CPA) said the council lacked vision, and had an inconsistent approach on involving local people.

The council now intends to destroy the ability of anyone to stop and shop in Rugby unless they come in on a penny farthing bicycle, in order to claim "we protect the environment."

They proceed with this lunatic car-parking scheme because "we have gone down this road so we better carry on and just ignore the public and shopkeepers." In another Council meeting I clearly heard this criticism of the Council, and person driving this through: "They are wasting public money deliberately. What is wrong with him? Is it stubbornness or something? Where is his common sense?"

Meanwhile Cemex Cement gives an unwanted Easter gift of a gritty coating of dust over sleeping Lawford. The inappropriately named Environmental Health Office refuses to do anything.

And now there are all the glossy election leaflets full of false promises, and misinformation about what the Council has done for Rugby residents, and what they will do. Some blue leaflets, in a giant leap of the imagination, refer to the ill-fated Western Relief Road as the Rugby By-pass, but how very odd that the route is far longer than necessary, going in a great circle through Newbold for no apparent reason. And, just by chance, Rugby people will now pay a fortune to Cemex to compulsory purchase land from them, and also to build a new tunnel to the disused Parkfield Road quarry. Access to these costs have naturally been denied.

What does it take to change this Council's Policy of secrecy, misinformation, and squandering of public money?


Lilian said...


The PUBLIC have an opportunity to speak and can get all these "officials" with one shot:
Environment Agency,
Rugby Borough Council officers,

If you attend the Rugby Cement Community Forum you can see for yourselves the falsehoods, deviousness, and lengths "they" will go to in order to avoid telling the TRUTH! They were actually overheard in the High Court blatently discussing how they manipulate the Forum, and control the Chairwoman, and all questions. Quarterly they have to "jump through the hoop" of two hours of this "public exposure" in order to "claim" that the public have been consulted. Some consultation! RBC Officers and Councillors conspire, collude and endeavour to ensure that anyone with any knowledge gets NO CHANCE to speak, or to ask any "killer questions". They fill up all the time with presentations, pontifications, self-congratulations, meaningless statistics, and whitewash, in fact any old rubbish in order to fritter away every minute, so they can say, as always, "Pity, No time for questions!"

They have even written a Code of Conduct that says "you must not aks searching questions, or repeat questions, even if you get no answer the first time, or even if the answer is a blatant lie. You must not hurt and upset Cemex and the Environment Agency by asking questions they do not like. You must not ask for the truth. You must not ask about pollution, exceedence of emission limits, the environment, health impacts, total burden, plant malfunctions, shoddy working practises, the 1,000 lorries a day, etc etc - in short NO MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS WILL BE PERMITTED!

Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy this public exhibition of meaninglessness, worthy of Pinter. The Public can air its grievances at the beginning of the meeting.

Anonymous said...

"The council now intends to destroy the ability of anyone to stop and shop in Rugby unless they come in on a penny farthing bicycle, in order to claim "we protect the environment." "

Surely as a champion of reducing air pollution you should be in favour of such measures!?

Discouraging people from using their cars for stupidly short journeys is important in my opinion. While I fully support what you're doing with this campaign (both borough and county councils have acting appallingly) I find it hard to listen to advice on air pollution from someone who drives her kids 200m to school...

Lilian said...

Thank you Anon for your comment.

Yes I quite agree something must be done, but people have various needs and reasons for driving in the town, and the worst polluters are the loaded juggernauts, with up to 100 times more emissions than a car! These have no place in the town centre at all! Go to Warwick or Stratford and you will not see one, but Rugby is the lorry capital of the Midlands. It is the fine particulates from the diesel, and those from the tyres and brakes that are killers, along with the nitrogen dioxide. You can find the comparisons on the web - or I will, and post them. Not to mention the cement plant, and its up to 1,000 HGVs a day. It is no secret where the worst pollution is!

As for comments about me personally I do try to walk and not to drive in the town as much as I possibly can, but I do drive to carry out such missions as buying sacks of bird food, but try to buy enough at once not to have to go again soon, and to go at the quiet time. Living in the town centre I have to drive every time I need to get out of the town. Regarding the "driving her children 200 metres to school", for the record I have only one son at school, and he is a musician, so while it may appear that very occasionally I am driving him the 400 metres to school, it is actually the instruments (three and heavy) that I am driving, and this is rare as usually he can be seen wandering along the pavements with them in tow and under the arm, occasionally serenading passers-by as he walks along. Noise pollution to some perhaps?

There needs to be a cost/benefit appraisal. Most people have some benefit from the "unavoidable pollution" they cause, where as we do not have any benefit from inappropriate and unlawful planning and operation of giant industries in town smokeless zones. We all heat our houses, smokelessly, and most people travel by car quite a bit, and by train and plane also. How much damage are we doing? I visit my elderly father regularly, and it is 100 miles round trip, but he depends on me. The only way to get there and back in one day is by car. What should I do? We all leave our footprint on this earth, and we must all do our bit, but we need more information to know the "best" way forward.

If you have any helpful advice we would be glad to hear it.

Thank you.