Please find below an opinion column submission to Brighton & Hove News from Portslade resident Dean Jackson.The local news did not publish this so we are putting it on this website for all to view!
The column is a copy of his speech delivered to the 17 December 2020 Full Council meeting when he presented the OSR petition signed by 500 Portslade residents.
Portslade Labour Councillors ignored residents
I am speaking on behalf of the over 500 residents in Portslade who have signed the petition and no doubt the countless others that share the same views
Over many months our Labour councillors representing North and South Portslade have said how much they want Old Shoreham Road cycle lane removed. They have made comments in council meetings and in the press to amplify this.
However, in every vote on this subject, our ward councillors have either voted to keep the cycle lane in place or stood by as their Labour Party colleagues on the transport committee have voted against the removal on their behalf.
It is clear therefore to residents in Portslade that Labour councillors are at best not listening to us and at worse, say one thing to try and placate the electorate and then do the very opposite. This is why this petition exists and why I come here today.
We know tomorrow your transport committee will debate the next phase of cycle lanes that includes extending Old Shoreham Road cycle lane. If your committee passes it, we can be assured that our Labour councillors don’t care about us.
We also know you are proposing meaningful consultation; thank you. To us, meaningful means that you will ask the population the question as to whether or not we support the proposal; it is a simple binary question. Meaningful also means that if residents in the majority do not want it, then you as our representatives will listen and will not do it. Meaningful isn’t pretending to consult with us and then do it regardless.
Please forgive residents of Portslade who may be sceptical. Your previous survey showed that 66% of respondents were opposed to the cycle lane yet it still remains. Rather than acting on that feedback, you have chosen to survey us again possibly in the hope that we have changed our minds.
So please can we have your assurance that meaningful will include a simple binary question of support for a scheme or not and that if the majority are against the proposal, you will remove the section of cycle lane installed earlier in the year and will abandon plans to extend it further.
Thank you for your time today.
Dean Jackson is a Portslade resident who presented a Portslade Residents’ petition on behalf of 500 residents opposed to the Old Shoreham Road Temporary Cycle Lane at the December 2020 Brighton & Hove City Council Meeting