County Council Election tomorrow, don’t forget to vote it’s vital for democracy. I am the Liberal Democrat Candidate. I enjoy representing you and I hope you will vote for me.
I have kept you informed through “In Touch” over the last four years letting you know what I have delivered, what the challenges are and what the County is trying to do.
Do you feel I have worked hard enough for you to select me again? I hope so and look forward to a tough four years as the UK changes its position and influence in the world and the County makes its contribution.
For the next four years, My targets will be:
- To continue to deliver on local issues and needs, tackling problems that impact directly on your life.
- To organise a Gipping Valley effort to develop a plan for our highways that will allow the housing expansion necessary to meet local needs without creating road chaos.
- To continue to insist Highways respond to your needs effectively and maintain out roads well.
- To make sure public transport and park and ride schemes are not further damaged,
- To ensure the County makes the maximum commitment it can afford to social care, reducing the impact on the NHS of unfulfilled need and using, not hoarding in reserves, the funds it has.
- To help local groups support and construct new facilities in the area.
- To remain deeply involved with improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of County services.
- Advocating investment where it will cut long-term costs, improving quality of life and reduce demand for services.
For several years it has concerned me, and many others I speak to, that trees, hedges and general dirt are being allowed to obscure road signs. A while ago I searched for any rules that may apply as directed by the Department For Transport and found the attached from the Traffic Signs Manual (1982 Amended 2004). I would bring your attention in particular to 1. Introductory, paragraph 1.2 and 5. The Design & Use of Signs, paragraph 1.31 (b) and 9. Maintenance of Signs. All common sense, you would think?
Quite obviously these conditions are not being met. For example: the road sign coming up to the Hadleigh Road mini roundabout at Sproughton from the Washbrook direction. It is so obscured by the hedge that you cannot read the sign until you’re virtually next to it and nearly at the roundabout!! Similarly, now the leaves are coming out on trees, other signs are disappearing behind them. I cannot believe that this problem is not the subject of more of an outcry as with the pot hole debacle. Being unable to read road signs from a safe distance is as dangerous as having to be more vigilant in avoiding potholes.
Suffolk Highways needs to meet its obligations under these rules which are made for good reason. I think you will have seen from my leaflets and “In Touch” contributions that I have been active in pressing for improved performance across the board although the key focus has been potholes .
I believe that the outsourcing of the highways contract has not worked and, despite the Conservatives rolling it on for another five years, it must either perform in short order or the work must be taken back in-house. Suffolk people just can’t continue to put up with the issues you raise or the potholes.
We must have the management talent to guide the workforce to high performance. As the government has been giving some relatively small but significant grants for such work and we could use a sensible amount, £2 million, from the £150 million reserves to make one-off improvements. We should be able to do better!
You will get this if you ensure there is a strong opposition after Thursday to make sure that the mantra that everything must be privatised does not result in self-deception about the level of performance achieved.