The Damaging Effect Of the Cabinet System.

One more item from last Thursday night’s meeting :-

A member of the public asked who was responsible for the “Average Speed Cameras” along part of the A127. A brief answer came from County and District Councillor Mavis Webster – she said the person to blame is Norman Hume, and shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t actually mention that he was one of her Conservative colleagues. (Maybe people thought he was Labour?)

Strictly speaking, this is the correct answer. Norman Hume is the County Council cabinet member for Highways and Transportation. He has the power to decide these issues himself. But he’s a councillor in South Woodham Ferrers, so obviously people here in Rayleigh or Rochford can’t vote him out if they don’t like what he’s doing.

When a cabinet member does something that’s popular, all the Conservatives seem to want to share in the credit – and we can’t criticise them for that, Lib Dems would probably do the same!

But when something unpopular happens, the system creates a temptation now to just blame it on the cabinet member, and hope that people will forget that they are all Conservatives.

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  • Yes, I was frustrated regarding the answers to questions, so much so that I lost interest and considered leaving the meeting.
    Regarding these cameras, the only confirmed answer was from the Essex Police Chief Inspector, who clearly stated “The Police definitely have no responsibility for these cameras” and apart from Councillor Websters comment no other answers were given.
    So who will receive the income in fines from the cameras?
    How are the average speeds calculated when they cover a section of road with two different speed limits, 50mph and 70mph. Can we assume the average speed is 60mph in this case.
    If drivers leave the A1245 and turn towards Southend on the A127, there is only one set of cameras before slipping of to Rayleigh. Therefore, any speed above 50mph will not be recorded on this stretch, as it requires two sets of cameras to calculate the average speed.
    Finally, presumably motorcyclists can do what ever speed they like as there bikes do not carry front number plates and the cameras face the front of vehicles.
    It will be interesting to see if accident statistics fall in the future or whether this is a costly mistake designed only to raise revenue for some authority, whoever that may be. My guess is that accidents will increase.

  • Sorry to run off topic but I was seeing where I could post this,

    About 2.30am this morning my and my fiancee were awoken by a smell of burning, the smell was so close that we started to get out of the house. However upon inspection even looking in my loft I could not find a source.

    When I eventually walked outside the smell in the air of burning (smelt like burnt plastic) was unbelievable, however there was no signs of anything that could have caused it.

    Just thought I would see if anyone had any answers?

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