One (Tory) councillor nearly sabotaged a highways safety project in Otterton

Honestly, EDDC Tories will stop at nothing to try to stop Claire Wright …. even if they cut off their own noses to spite their faces!

EDDC Councillor Tom Wright thinks he knows better than Otterton residents. Perhaps residents angry at his intervention should ensure they DON’T tick HIS box in local elections on 2 May!

Blog of Claire Wright.

“Otterton Parish Council has agreed to part fund a 20mph limit through the village, at a packed and testy meeting last night.

[This is the road being discussed below]

The agreement was made, despite a Conservative councillor selected to stand for Otterton in the East Devon District Council May election suggesting repeatedly during the meeting that the 20mph limit was a waste of time.

This did not go down with residents who made it clear they disagreed with him.

The vast majority of the village of Otterton wants a 20mph limit. I have carried out a consultation, had a public meeting and made a case based on the policy requirements.

Also backing the proposal is the Otterton Primary School headteacher.

And the parish council wrote to Devon County Council highways officers last year to support the case.

I have worked towards this over the past year or so, but despite meeting virtually all the policy requirements, the scheme fell recently as there has not been a speed related death in the village. A traffic accident resulting in a death, yes. But not a speed related death.

This very silly rule will hopefully be overturned thanks to a new government report which a Devon County Council highways task group is currently working on. This very much emphasises a ‘can do’ approach to 20mph limits as they are beneficial in slowing traffic and

Despite having no jurisdiction over Otterton – neither a resident nor a councillor representing the village, EDDC Conservative, Tom Wright continued to pour cold water all over the plans for the revised speed limit and claimed it was a waste of money.

At one point he even accused me of blogging that I would fund the entire project myself.

I replied that this was never the intention, as the upper limit cost would use up half my entire locality budget!

I also said it was quite wrong for him to be trying to undermine my work and the wishes of the vast majority of residents of Otterton.

Nevertheless Cllr Tom Wright, backed up by two managers attending from Ladram Bay, attacked me several times for this.

The Ladram Bay managers were on the warpath because I had asked them to fund a third of the scheme, given that a significant proportion of traffic travels to Ladram Bay. Local traffic surveys have confirmed this.

Otterton Parish Council Chairman, John Fudge received a statement from Ladram Bay about an hour before last night’s meeting which he read out.

It has taken about six months for the company to produce a response following my initial approaches to them, which they ignored.

The parish council clearly had reservations about the cost and the implications on the precept so I increased my offer to half funding the scheme. This will be decided at a later date, assuming the scheme finally gets approval.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Otterton Parish

Regarding the proposed introduction of an 20mph speed limit and the request of Councillor Claire Wright for Ladram Bay to part fund.

All the present information leads to the ineffectiveness of such an initiative, during a meeting in 2018 that was held in Otterton, with the Parish Council and the Highways Authority, it was communicated by Highways that a 20mph scheme without any relevant traffic calming measures would have absolutely no effect on speed reduction. This is also backed up by the latest government research study (Nov 2018) that confirms “no significant safety outcome in terms of collisions or casualties have come following the implementation of a 20mph zone” Unfortunately no scheme can legislate against the mindless minority who unfortunately drive recklessly.

Should Devon County Council support and approve such a scheme, or come up with a different scheme with proven results, then we will certainly consider funding part of the project in conjunction with other businesses in Otterton, if approached by the Parish Council.

Please can it be noted that we, like many residents, are vexed that Councillor Claire Wright has reneged on her promise at the public meeting January 2018 to fund the scheme in it’s entirety.

Ladram Bay Holiday Park

Thank you to Otterton Parish Council for agreeing to contribute to the costs of the scheme, should it be approved. We now await the results of the Devon County Council taskgroup, which should report its findings back in the next few weeks.”

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