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The Somerset Guardian, 22nd May 2024

In Bath and North East Somerset, the Lib Dems control the Council and indeed, they have most of the council seats in North East Somerset. Unfortunately, they care nothing for the rural residents in my constituency and keep on wasting money to no benefit of the residents. The Ring of Steel in Bath is an example of this where an expensive, anti-motorist scheme was dressed up as a security measure, which then almost tripled in cost.

This scheme set the precedent for a wasteful war on the motorist so, at the request of constituents, I spoke in a debate on Monday in the Commons on Liveable Neighbourhoods and Low Traffic Zones to represent all of my constituents who are being penalised. It is important that we allow people individual choice and freedom and that we do not make their lives worse by concentrating solely on Bath and ignoring North East Somerset.

The Sydney Place Liveable Neighbourhood scheme is something that is having a deeply detrimental effect on my constituents, especially those living in Bathampton and in Claverton and is displacing traffic to the disadvantage of people living in the rural areas just outside. I have received letters from many constituents who oppose this scheme and are among over 4,000 people who have signed a petition against it. I am trying to be a voice for them against an obdurate, self-righteous council. Not only are these neighbourhoods unnecessary but they are wasteful. Taxpayers’ money is being spent on these vanity projects when it could be put to good use such as filling the many potholes in the local roads.

As we approach a general election, it is so important to look at whether the political parties care for you, particularly on a local level. Many of my constituents are motorists; they have to be because they are living in rural areas where both the Lib Dem controlled Council and the Labour led West of England Combined Authority have cut their bus services. We need, therefore, to have policies that help rather than harm the motorist and that are equitable across the board.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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