Liberal Democrat candidate for Town Close, James Anthony, sent the following letter to the Evening News and EDP, questioning the Green Party account of the recent Pedalways scrutiny meeting.
Having attended the Pedalways scrutiny meeting last month, I feel it is necessary to discredit the Green councillors' complaints over how the meeting was run.
The recent article "Investigation into Norwich's £5.7m pedalways scheme branded a sham" published earlier this week, featured comments from Green councillors who decided that the meeting was "not fit for purpose" as the time was filled with easy questions from the Labour group.
Like the Greens, I know just how essential a good cycle scheme is for Norwich, so, with some other interested members of the public, I sat through the entire meeting to find out what exactly went wrong with Pedalways.
As I was in the council chamber for the full scrutiny, I can confidently say that the Green councillors had more than enough time and opportunity to ask the tougher questions. The group asked almost as many questions as the Labour councillors, however, refrained from asking hard-hitting questions and used their time to heap praise on cycling and cycle schemes across the city instead of speaking about the real problems with the Pedalways project.
While the Labour group did ask longer, easier questions, it is entirely unfair for the Green group to dismiss the scrutiny meeting. Along with Cllr James Wright, I agree that responses to the council on the Pedalways issue ought to be published as it is important that the public get a chance to voice their opinions - a voice not represented by the Greens or Labour during the meeting.
If the Greens are so concerned about resolving the Pedalways issue for the people of Norwich, perhaps their questions should have addressed actual issues raised by the public as opposed to using valuable question time to preach about cycling. An opposition ought to speak up for the views of their residents, and one might suggest that instead of the scrutiny process, it is indeed the Greens who are "not fit for purpose".
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