A sneaky item put to the vote at the end of this year’s council budget meeting may have caught a lot of councillors napping. Our politicians were asked to approve the seemingly innocuous proposal “For the West of England Combined Authority Mayor to submit an application to the Housing Infrastructure Fund to facilitate housing growth.”
However, this £250million application has fuck all to do with building any actual houses but does include funds that will go directly towards the detailed planning of two new controversial road schemes – the Callington Road Link in Brislington and South Bristol Ring Road around Stockwood and through Whitchurch.
Councillors voted 58 – 7 to approve the submission of the bid to the government and kick-start a new road building programme in the city for the first time in a generation. Obviously, most Tory and Labour councillors who love retrograde crap voted for the idea. The Lib Dems voted against and most Greens, as usual, confused about what they’re here for, abstained.
However two Greens voted for renewed road building, Ashley Ward’s Jude Brew and Clifton Down’s Clive Stevens. What were they thinking? Here at the Bristolian, we don’t parade much in the way of green credentials but even we know building roads is the height of Thatcherite bollocks.
The vote may prove embarrassing – and hopefully career threatening – for some other councillors south of the city too. Barry Clark “Son”, Labour councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch had told his constituents prior to the vote, “I live near to Asda Whitchurch and like you understand the issues that this road development would cause. I am also against it and actively doing what I can to get it stopped.”
Except actively voting against it when given the opportunity to get it stopped?