Smithy Lane “Access Only decision flounders. 25-8-10.

Councillors support their constituents, it goes with the territory. It is not always a clear-cut situation and sometimes supporting the one against many is just not possible. As a dutiful and caring councillor, I have supported many individuals and families on various issues. Returning again as a Ewloe ward cllr in 2008, I found that Smithy Lane was still an issue with constituents that live on the lane. Tales of boy racers and lumbering lorries that then got stuck following sat-navs & had to be rescued; thus wrecking resident’s peace moved me to support anything that would improve the situation. The Highways Department with the support of the police commenced a consultation over making Smithy Lane “access only”.  However, nothing is simple as the Authority received more than 33 letters plus a petition from constituents who demanded that the lane be open to through traffic. I now know that although the closure may have been favoured by an individual Executive member North Wales Police could not guarantee enforcement and any decision to proceed to closure was passed back to ward members. Furthermore, the number of reported accidents on the lane was very few, and that such as they were had occurred where the lane joins the Mold Road. The arguments contained in the objectors’ letters to keep the lane open were cogent and all points well made.  Now, I needed the judgement of Solomon.  Should I as a Councillor pursue one family’s interests in the face of an overwhelming opposing view?  With considerable regret I decided I could no longer give my support & thus, the scheme for closure, unless resurrected in some other form will not go ahead.   Flintshire’s Road Safety & Highways Department has done its duty by making the application for closure in the first place. The police have been frank in admitting enforcement could not be guaranteed. The majority has spoken and democracy has decided the issue. Councillors cannot please everyone, and sometimes as in this case I have to go against the expressed wish of one interested party.  My decision was the only fair and sensible one.  Of course I sympathise with the one family in favour of closure. To have battled for ten years to obtain access only and to see their hard work & determination snatched back when victory was so close must be heartbreaking.   No one ever said representing the electorate was ever going to be easy.  I have done the right thing as a democratic voice just cannot be trampled over.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.