Lib Dems fear city could be penalised for defiance

October 13, 2009 10:58 AM
Kevin Wilkins

Cllr Kevin Wilkins

Cambridge city's power to make crucial decisions on parking and traffic issues could be taken away after it helped city residents defy the county council.

County councillors are to look at the workings of a joint city and county traffic management committee to see whether they should be changed.

The move comes after the Cambridge Area Joint Traffic Management Committee - which includes both city and county councillors - made decisions on residents' parking and the speed limit for the Addenbrooke's Hospital access road which clashed with county council Tory policy.

Now members of Cambridgeshire County Council's Cabinet will be asked at their meeting on October 20 to agree to a review of the committee's remits.

Furious Cambridge Liberal Democrats fear this could leave the city representatives having little power to implement changes on vital traffic issues which affect residents' everyday lives.

Area Joint Committee chair, Councillor Kevin Wilkins said: "Decisions have been taken which are right for the people of Cambridge but which don't follow county council policy - and the county council doesn't like it.

"Now we have this heavy handed approach to scrutinise what we are doing and change it. If this is allowed to happen we would be in danger of even more decisions about Cambridge being made by Conservative Councillors from Huntingdon and Fenland.

"The effectiveness of this area joint committee relies on the fact that the people making the decisions are the people who know the city inside out."

The Area Joint Committee ran into trouble after it agreed residents' parking over two areas in the city where the parking problems were worse rather than a much larger areas laid down in county council policy. It also agreed a lower speed limit on the Addenbrooke's Hospital access road than that which had been dictated by the county council.

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