Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Comment: Credit Where Credit Is Due

As many of our regular readers will know, over recent months & years the Earley Lib Dems have been campaigning to improve road safety in Earley.

We are sorry to say that we have become aware that a Conservative Councillor maybe attempting to claim credit for some of our actions and campaigns, and therefore we would like to take the unusual step of itemising some of our work and actions in order to set the record straight:

1: Lobbying for a pedestrian crossing on Kilnsea Drive

Long time Lib Dem Campaigner Anthony Vick began lobbying and petitioning for a pedestrian crossing for school children crossing Kilnsea Drive back in May 2011. This work was done in partnership with a local mum who has no political allegiance. The petition was presented to Wokingham Borough Council jointly  by Anthony Vick and a local mum as co-petitioners. Thanks to the petition and the hard work of local mums some Conservative Councillors now claim to support calls for a pedestian crossing on KIlnsea Drive. We welcome their support.

- No Conservative Councillors helped collect signatures or signed the petition.
- The petition was presented Thursday, September 20th 7:30pm.
- Campaign website, leaflets & petition forms were produced by Anthony Vick.

2: Improving road safety on Kilnsea Drive by cutting back the bushes

The picture on the left was submitted with the petition to Wokingham Borough Council on September 20th 2012 along with a plea to have the bushes cut back to improve road safety. To our knowledge this plea was not acted upon.

A follow up email was sent by Lib Dem campaigner Clive Jones on October 12th 2012 to Wokingham Direct:

TO: wokingham Direct <wokinghamdirect@wokingham.gov.uk>SENT: 12 October 2012 16:47:21 (GMT Standard Time)

I am writing on behalf of  the Liberal Democrats in Hawkedon ward and am writing to ask that the three sets of Laurel bushes on Kilnsea Drive opposite the Austen House Care home could be cut back considerably so that parents and children crossing Kilnsea Drive from the footpath from Brompton Close have a significantly better view of traffic coming from their right hand side. Currently these 3 sets of Laurel bushes obscure the parents and children's view which makes crossing the road very dangerous indeed.
We have already asked for a new Crossing to be installed here, cutting back the Laurel bushes would be an extra safety measure that could be done very quickly.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Clive Jones

The letter was received and acknowledged by Wokingham Direct in the following email

Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 17:21:43 +0100
Subject: RE: Laurel bushes in Kilnsea Drive

Dear Mr jones

Thank you for reporting the issue.

This has been processed and reported through to the Highways department and the reference number for this is: 240517 who will investigate the issue and carry out the necessary work.

Should you have any further query, please do not hesitate to contact the team here at Wokingham Direct.

Kind regards
Name Removed

The hedges were finally cut back & Clive's response thanking the Council is given below:

From: To: wokinghamdirect@wokingham.gov.uk
CC: Subject: RE: Laurel bushes in Kilnsea Drive
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 16:03:01 +0000

Dear Name Removed and Name Removed,
Regarding the Laurel Bushes in Kilnsea Drive, thank you very much for having them cut back today. This action will certainly improve road safety in Kilnsea Drive as parents and children crossing the road will have a better view of oncoming traffic and drivers will have a better view of the parents and children trying to cross the road. Hopefully a proper crossing will be put on this part of the road very soon.
Clive Jones


- To the best of our knowledge Clive's letter predates any request for action from Conservative Councillors and was directly responsible for having the hedges cut back. We welcome the support of Conservative Councillors who have echoed our request.

- No regular maintenance schedule of these hedges has been arranged despite repeated calls by petitioners, in particular, Lib Dem campaigner Anthony Vick. We continue to ask for one to be set-up.

 3: Adding the Kilnsea Drive Pedestrian Crossing to Earley Town Council's Infrastructure Wish List.

On November 28th Lib Campaigner Clive Jones attended a Full Town Council meeting and asked Earley Town Council to support a pedestrian crossing on Kilnsea Drive, including the provision of finance.

As a direct result of Clive's intervention the Kilnsea Drive pedestrian crossing was discussed at the Council's Planning Committee Meeting on January 8th 2013 ( see item 98 http://www.earley-tc.gov.uk/documents/PlanningMinutes080113.pdf ), where Councillors - of all parties - agreed to add the pedestrian crossing to the Town Council's Wish List and to monitor the issue.

This was a direct consequence of Clive's actions, Conservative Councillors did not raise this issue or take action to put it on the agenda.

4. Speed Checks

Earley's Lib Dems have led the way in having speed checks performed by the Borough Council around Lower Earley in order to educate drivers to moderate their speed.

A typical email sent by Clive to Wokingham's Highway's department is given below:

to Name Removed, Name Removed, Name Removed, Name Removed
Dear Name Removed,
I am not sure if you are aware of the two accidents that have happened in Chatteris Way recently.
About 4 weeks ago a motorist failed to negotiate the bend from Cutbush Lane into Chatteris Way, mounted the pavement and finished in a Laurel hedge. We understand that the driver was shaken but unhurt and that the car is likely to be written off.
Monday of this week a car pulled out from Wimblington Drive into to Chatteris and collided with a car travelling along Chatteris Way. Both drivers appeared unhurt at the time but it is likely that both cars which were not very old will be written off.
It is now nearly 3 months since the mobile VAS were in this part of Lower Earley, could you please look into the possibility of bringing them back to Chatteris Way and Cutbush Lane as a matter of urgency.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.



- The date 13/12/2012 and the request for Vehicle Activated Signs on Chatteris Way and Cutbush Lane.

- The statistics captured by these VAS signs were collated by Clive and given in a verbal and written report to the Earley Neighbourhood Action Group, with police, members of the public and councillors in attendance so that speeding may be better understood and combated in Earley.


We promise only to claim credit where credit is due.

We hope this brief summary of our actions and commitment to road safety in Earley convinces you of the effort and work we put in in order to make Earley a better place. We are disappointed that a Conservative Councillor would attempt to claim credit for actions he has merely echoed and not instigated or worked towards in any significant

If you require any clarification or evidence to support our claims please email clive@earleylibdems.org or anthony@earleylibdems.org and we will assist you.