A SURVEY on Lyme Regis’ traffic issues, commissioned by the town council for £25,000, has been deemed so unacceptable that it has been withheld from councillors.
The council was expected to receive the report from engineering company Hydrock before Christmas and it eventually arrived in March, when town clerk John Wright expressed “bitter disappointment” in its delay and that it didn’t include any public consultation, which he described as a “key requirement”.
The report, which is hoped will present ideas to alleviate Lyme’s traffic congestion, was considered to be in such a poor state that most councillors had still not received a copy this week.
Giving an update at a Strategy & Finance Committee meeting, Councillor John Broom – who as chairman of the Town Management & Highways Committee has been privy to the report – said he had met with the town clerk and deputy clerk to discuss the document and they hoped to meet with Hydrock next week to raise concerns.
Councillor Brian Larcombe commented: “We as councillors, who asked for this survey to be conducted, still have not seen a copy of it and I don’t understand why. It’s been promised, it was six months late getting to us, we commissioned this as councillors and we still haven’t seen it.”
Chairing the meeting, Councillor Steve Miller said: “The report should only be forthcoming when it is complete… as soon as we have it in an order that is acceptable, it will be passed out to all councillors, but there’s absolutely no point at this moment in time producing it for councillors.”
Councillor Larcombe replied: “With respect, there is every point in giving it to councillors because councillors might find something you guys have missed. The council commissioned it, the council should see a copy of it, even in its first form.”
Councillor Miller said that it was obvious what was missing from the report and confirmed that the council would withhold a “significant amount” of the cost of the project until it was brought up to standard.
Councillor Jeff Scowen commented: “I really do believe and think that councillors should have seen it as soon as it came out. It’s not good enough for just a few people to look at it.
“We commissioned it as a council and we’ve had too much of this sort of thing since I’ve been here; councillors not being involved enough. It’s a little disrespectful in this instance, when we’ve waited so long, you didn’t deem it suitable or necessary for all of us to look at it. I really feel strongly about this.”
Councillor Broom said: “I believe it’s in such a poor state that if every councillor had it we would not get another report for two years. I’ll put it in plain language, it’s disgusting what they have done. It is very poor.”
Councillor Derek Hallett – who is not seeking re-election at the May 2 elections – said he and any other councillors who were not re-elected would never see the report.
“It’s a bit sad to finish up without a chance to see it,” he added.
Taking into account the veracity of comments at the meeting, Councillor Miller agreed that all councillors would be sent a copy of the report the next day.
However, he stressed that this would not affect the meeting with Hydrock and it would not be put on hold to receive comments from councillors.