Can more than 4,400 people be wrong?

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THAT is the current number of people who are voicing opposition to Warrington Borough Council’s Central 6 Street plan, set to come into force on Monday, June 20.

Having reported on numerous issues in the town for many years, the amount of opposition to these proposals, in particular at Orford, is almost unprecedented, not just in size but also the speed.

With more than 4,400 people signing a protest petition, which is increasing in size with every passing hour, thousands more have joined a Facebook group, with a protest already scheduled to take place outside Warrington Town Hall on Monday evening, ahead of the council’s cabinet meeting.

All this is a matter of just a few days.

No matter how much consultation Warrington Borough Council think they have done and I have no doubt they have met the legal requirements to proceed with the highway changes, it is clear the vast majority of local residents didn’t know about it – or certainly the full implications.

Let’s not forget those who are objecting are those who are going to be most affected, so to proceed without further consultation and reflection, is almost a slap in the face of those who pay their council tax bills.

The fact that is a temporary traffic order suggests highway planners can’t be entirely sure it is going to work – but 18 months is a big chuck out of our lives.

There are clearly a lot of angry and distressed people, who are already under enough pressure after more than two years of a pandemic, compounded by the cost-of-living crisis along with the recent decision to allow a major development at nearby Peel Hall.

From experience, it is always difficult for politicians and highway planners to admit they have got something wrong – but according to more than 4,400 local residents they have got this wrong.

I would appeal to those in power to listen to the people, take on board their concerns and do the right thing and at least postpone these proposals while further consultations and investigations take place. There is no embarrassment in holding up your hands and saying sorry, we might have got this wrong. In fact, it shows the strength of character and the willingness to listen to say sorry.

The council listened to the people over the Bus Gate issue in Scotland Road, going to the trouble of handing back thousands of pounds in fines during an amnesty. So please listen again and let’s all work together to make sure we get the best outcomes for Warrington and most importantly those who are going to be impacted every day of their lives by these changes.

Campaigners organise town hall protest to oppose Orford low traffic scheme


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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

6 Comments

  1. A very generous article … giving the council enough space to call a re-think on a no-blame basis – well done Warrington worldwide. The sticking point now is the weakness of the local
    Labour councillors to fight for public common sense and the extraordinary hubris of a council leader – out on bail – will they listen and act ? Let’s hope so ..

  2. Fantastic article that speaks common sense into an issue that has clearly angered a lot of people. We must now hope that WBC respond accordingly to the concerns of its residents.

  3. Gary your are a beacon of common sense in the local media for voicing genuine public concern, with what is essentially an open letter to Russ Bowden’s administration on this contentious issue. As opposed to the complaisant compliant reporting on Council actions from a local newspaper which claims to serve the people of Warrington.

  4. A local council should be representative of the local community. Of course there will be times when it just needs to press ahead with activities – councils need to be decisive – and there will be times when a council makes mistakes. Inevitably, not all decisions will be universally liked. But above all, a council is there to reflect the ordinary citizen.

    What we appear to have in Warrington is a high-handed council whose leadership holds the ordinary man or woman in contempt.

    This ain’t good enough. Policies like this shouldn’t just be sprung on us, with no redress. People shouldn’t need to march on the Town Hall to be heard.

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