A group of B&NES Independent Councillors have called out Liberal Democrats over their Low Traffic Neighbourhood plans and subsequent scrutiny panel.

No surprise that a call-in that challenges the Lib-Dem proposal for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood at Southlands has been dismissed by a scrutiny panel made up almost entirety of Lib-Dems! And it’s quite understandable that the residents can feel that the process is lacking democracy.

Council decisions that are already to a certain extent pre-determined, will always be difficult to challenge particularly when they are a key part of an election manifesto... and the solution?

The one size fits all approach to Council targets clearly doesn’t work and in this case a need for decisions at grass roots level by the people most affected... the residents! 

With the national disillusionment with politics at an all-time high, residents have been feeling devoid of choice with who to vote for, perhaps selecting an Independent Ward Councillor not following a party agenda but free to support the community could be a step in the right direction. B&NES residents deserve that choice and the existing Independents already elected as Councillors, are calling for more people to step forward. 

Anyone who would like to know more about the role of a Councillor and how they should represent and support their local community, can get in touch with any of the current five elected Independents and they would be happy to share their reasons for getting involved and how to go about getting elected.

Looking ahead at the latest proposed sites for LTNs it seems clear that there is a drive to push them forward without necessarily taking public opinion with them, this is born out to some extent by the refusal to acknowledge more than 5000 objections through recent petitions.  

At the recent budget meeting Cllr Joel Hirst, Liberal Democrat Cabinet-lead for LTNs confirmed that LTNs have “polarised communities” but didn’t seem to offer any solution or reassurance to those affected.

Independent Councillors representing Midsomer North (North) Councillor Shaun Hughes (07860 128162) Peasedown St John Councillors Gavin Heahtcote & Karen Walker (0755 7683834) Westmoreland Councillors Colin Blackburn (077968 07157) & June Player (07967 920064)