Town Council accused of ‘stone-walling’ charges of wastefulness

Posted on Thursday 10th March 2011 at 12:19 am by SH (Editor)

A parish council is facing demands from local Conservatives to explain why it has wasted thousands of pounds needlessly replacing local bus shelters.

A report taken to South Gloucestershire Council’s transport scrutiny committee has confirmed that LibDem-run Yate Town Council went ahead and replaced its own shelters, even though it had been told by South Gloucestershire Council not to do so.

This is because the district council wrote to all parish councils in March 2008 to inform them of the locations that existing bus stops were to be improved, including providing real-time bus (RTI) information technology, as part of the Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) scheme.

But Yate Town Council has confirmed to South Gloucestershire Council that it still went ahead and installed several new standard shelters after receiving this letter – at a cost of thousands of pounds each – only to see them replaced soon after with special RTI compatible GBBN shelters.

The parish council refuses to say exactly how many it needlessly replaced and it didn’t even tell the district council that it was digging up the highway to carry out the works.

Yate’s admission is particularly important because Yate LibDem councillors have repeatedly blamed Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council for what they have called the ‘bus shelter shambles’ of replacing recently-installed shelters.

Through the work of South Gloucestershire Council’s transport scrutiny committee, Emersons Green and Mangotsfield councillor, Colin Hunt, has been raising concerns about Yate’s wastefulness and how the parish council is yet to apologise or even respond to what the paper trail reveals.

He said:

“In Mangotsfield, our parish council received South Gloucestershire Council’s March 2008 letter and immediately made a note of the bus shelter locations that we were not to carry out any improvements at because we knew South Gloucestershire Council was going to do so.”

“I’m alarmed not only at how difficult Yate council has found this simple task, but also at how they have then tried to palm the blame off onto the innocent and hard-working engineers at South Gloucestershire Council.”

“Why on earth did Yate councillors go ahead and replace their own shelters when they had been warned not to?”

“And how much has Yate town council wasted on needlessly replacing these shelters?”

“Enough is enough – the stonewalling has got to stop and the mayor of Yate has got to come clean and finally answer these very simple questions about such shocking wastefulness and why they are trying to unfairly pin the blame on others.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Council

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