A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

October, 2012Archive for

Leics. Police Commissioner: Early Thoughts

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

We now know three candidates will fight the Leicestershire Police Commissioner election on November 15th.

The Conservatives and Labour are joined by an Independent, Suleman Nagdi.

My first impression is that Nagdi will get my first preference vote. His web site promises a progressive approach to policing. His experience is also impressive: a magistrate, community work and involvement with various aspects of police work. I don’t agree with his anti-political party stance. To me political party affiliation is a shorthand for a candidate’s beliefs. It gives voters an initial indication about where a candidate stands.

Labour will get my second vote. Their candidate is a local councillor and an Assistant Mayor in Leicester. The Labour manifesto on their site looks a bit off the shelf. There is not a lot that stands out about their candidate that shows an awareness of policing issues across the whole county. However their main selling point as ever, is that they are not the Conservatives.

The Tories are behind the whole failed attempt at populism that is elected Police Commissioners. Their candidate has a great military C.V. but no indication that he has experience of the day to day requirements of front line policing in the county and city.

I am opposed to elected Police Commissioners. As with elected Mayors it concentrates too much decision-making in the hands of a single elected representative. We are stuck with electing one though and I think it is up to all us voters to ensure that our preferred candidate gets elected.

Local Highways Gripe

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Edit: The more people who email the council about this, the more likely it is that something will be done. It doesn’t have to be as long as my essay!

The new highways scheme along Ridgeway/ Howden Road in Oadby appears to have reduced traffic outside Brocks Hill School and made the environment safer for pedestrians.

However, there has always been a problem with parking near the start and end of school on Briar Meads at the junction with Howden Road. I thought the new scheme had provision for extra parking restrictions at this junction but these seem confined to Howden Road.

I know there are other concerned parents out there so here is what I have emailed customerservices@leics.gov.uk . I suggest you copy your letter on this subject to:

Oadby County Councillor Mike Griffiths michael.griffiths@leics.gov.uk

Oadby County Councillor Dean Gamble dean.gamble@leics.gov.uk

Brocks Hill Ward Borough Councillor Latif Darr latif.darr@oadby-wigston.gov.uk, who attends the Highways Forum and has an interest in Highways issues affecting the ward.

I have noticed the following problems at school-start and end-times:

1) Cars park opposite the junction ignoring the advisory white line, obstructing the pavement for pedestrians, obstructing drive ways for residents and narrowing the road at the busiest times of the day. This causes the following issues:

– prevents school-contract and scheduled Arriva 31 buses from turning right out of Howden Road, backing up traffic along Howden Road outside the schools;

– when the buses do turn, traffic is often blocked because Briar Meads is narrowed by parked cars and there is not sufficient width for two vehicles to pass each other. I know of at least once incident this week where a car wing-mirror was damaged because a bus and a car could not pass on this stretch of road;

– pedestrians, including small children, are put at risk crossing Briar Meads toward the schools by lack of visibility caused the parked cars, even at the “safe route to school” dropped kerb by Ashton Close.

2) Cars can legally park directly north of the new dropped kerb for the end of the cycle route on the east side of Briar Meads just north of the Howden Road junction. Again this causes visibility problems for children trying to cross Briar Meads, cyclists and traffic exiting Howden Road;

3) At the bottom of the hill on Briar Meads where it becomes Briar Walk there is a dropped kerb “safe route to school” crossing, where the road is narrowed. Cars frequently park on the advisory white line adjacent to this crossing making it difficult for pedestrians to see if the road is safe to cross.

I ask the County Council to consider the following:

– double yellow lines on the west side of Briar Meads opposite the Howden Road junction;

– extension of the double yellow lines on the east side of Briar Meads about a car-length further north of the Howden Road junction than the current double yellow line markings;

– double yellow lines to replace the white advisory lines on both sides of Briar Meads adjacent to the dropped-kerb crossing where Briar Meads becomes Briar Walk;

Photo credit: County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester (Colin Hoskins) / CC BY-SA 2.0