The Conservative Group called for a full re-consultation on East West Rail routes following the actions of the Mayor and his executive to fail to consider all routes properly.
In a consultation process full of secrecy and many flaws, the Mayor only ever looked to a route through Bedford despite the concerns of residents, such as the noise of freight running 24 hours a day and the destruction of nearly 100 homes in Poet’s.
During a heated Full Council meeting on Wednesday evening, where the Mayor and the Liberal Democrats spent most of their time putting down concerned residents and interest groups, the Conservative Group submitted an amendment that called for the re-opening of a full new consultation including the following:
- Full review of all 5 routes including proper costings
- An impact study to show the impact on homes effected by all possible routes.
- Environmental impacts for all routes.
Conservative Councillor for Great Barford, Cllr Stephen Moon, commented:
“For our residents to have confidence in this Council and the policy adopted they need to know that we have had full information about the economic benefits and disbenefits of the various options, the numbers of households likely to be adversely affected, environmental impact assessments and similar matters.
That essential work which should have underpinned the Councils policy has quite simply not been done. The Council has without even a pretence at public scrutiny adopted a detailed policy that, because it affects so many, should at all times have been open.”
Conservative Group Leader and Councillor for Wixams, Cllr Graeme Coombes also commented:
“The people of Wixams deserve better than to have as their elected Mayor a man who would threaten demolition of their homes, having himself paid the people who came up with this proposition. I'm afraid this alleged threat to Wixams is nothing more than disgraceful scare tactics from the Mayor.
The people of the wider Borough deserve better than to be represented by a man who would take one of the most important projects ever to face Bedford and to use all manner of tactics to steamroller through unpopular proposals, without due scrutiny and oversight, in the teeth of strong opposition from local residents.
The Mayor is prepared to throw a grenade at Wixams in order to distract from the pressures he is under from residents of Poets, Brickhill and the northern villages.”