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Saturday, 4 August 2007

Why did Labour and the Lib Dems deny us a public meeting with First Bus?

Amazing, isn't it? Two weeks ago I stood up in the Council Chamber and asked the Council for a public meeting to hold First Bus to account. First Bus, I said, are running rings round the Council. Let all parties club together to sort out our public transport mess, let's have a public meeting, we deserve some answers.

What was the response? I am sad to say that it was jeering and booing from the Labour and Liberal Democrat benches. And low and behold, now we have more Bus route cuts. These cuts are going to affect all of us. Many elderly people depend on these buses as their life-line to the outside world.
Many elderly people depend on these buses as their life-line to the outside world.

If Labour and the Lib Dems hadn't been so busy behaving like two-year-olds, we may have had this public meeting before the appalling route-cuts to the 54A, 55 and 57 buses which run through Bristol North West.

Conservatives are not going to let this campaign drop. If the other parliamentary candidates in the area are going to kick up a fuss about the cuts, I suggest they get their own parties in order, and support my call for a public meeting to hold First Bus to account.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlotte

At a recent Physical Environment Scrutiny Commission (PESC), we heard a very passionate statement from one of the ward councillors in Southmead, Jenny Smith, about proposed changes to routes, and the Commission has sought clarification from First.

Subsequently, the Commission unanimously agreed to request First attend a future meeting of PESC to be questioned by councillors on the service they provide. This will, of course, be a public meeting, where residents would have the chance to have their say at the start of the meeting. I hope as many residents as possible would take that opportunity.

To say that a meeting was 'denied' is not accurate. Your statement was, as you know and as is customary, referred to the Executive Member for comment. There was, again as is customary, neither debate nor a vote on your statement.

I think everyone would agree that Bristol's bus services require substantial improvement. More showcase routes and (hopefully) a transport authority will see progress made, but there is much more to do. I hope that you will use your influence with the Conservative leaders of other councils in our sub region to ensure their support for a transport authority. I also hope First will make every effort to respond to address the very genuine concerns from residents about the service (and the high costs of that service) that they currently provide.

Best wishes
Sean Beynon.

Labour Councillor for Southville.