Fringe Box



Letter: Is There Anyone Being Held Accountable for These Decisions?

Published on: 1 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 1 Apr, 2024

Cranleigh High Street

From: Terence Newman

In response to: Consultation on Cranleigh High Street Proposals To Be Repeated Following Petition

Who Pays for Public Body Incompetency?

There is an old adage that: “There is never enough time/money to do something right the first time, but there is always enough time/money to do it twice.”

The Highways, Transport and Economic Growth section at Surrey County Council continues on its quest to reinforce the validity of that adage.

In July 2020 they did not engage adequately with the public in Reigate and had to remove a cycle scheme only three days after its installation.

In December 2022 they had to withdraw a proposal to close the northbound section of London Road, Burpham for five months because of a failed public consultation, and went for yet another public engagement.

In February 2024 they cancelled a planned active travel route along the A3100 London Road between Boxgrove and York Road, despite a year long development of plans that the public said at the outset were not viable.

They have “kicked the can down the road” on the Burpham stretch of the active travel scheme, for yet another design review, again despite much public advice that the plans can never be made viable.

And now Cranleigh High Street plans have gone back for a “further round of engagement”, in a desperate attempt to persuade a large proportion of public opinion that they don’t appreciate the benefits. This time they propose to mail drop, so the public is informed by the council and not “the rumour mill of social media”.

Every time it appears that the few officials and officers at SCC hold a greater belief in their own opinions than those of the greater number of the general public – a classic nanny state attitude.

Where are the lessons learned from each debacle? Why is so much time and money wasted on not getting matters right at the outset? Is there anyone being held accountable at the decision-making level, and are the public taxpayers getting value for money from the current incumbents?

If this was a commercial enterprise heads would have rolled long before now.

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Responses to Letter: Is There Anyone Being Held Accountable for These Decisions?

  1. Jon Tewkesbury Reply

    April 8, 2024 at 12:23 pm

    Life at SCC is very simple. Find a bit of road – better yet a roundabout – without problems, then stick in traffic lights to drive up congestion and pollution. It’s how they “roll”, so we can’t.

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