17:00 Tuesday 20 November 2012

Removal of mirror is still a source of arguments

Written byROB SMYTH

A PARISH councillor was accused of ‘pontificating’ and making ‘vacuous statements’ as a row erupted over changes to a dangerous junction.

Broken mirror on Stapenhill Road, at the junction with Spring Terrace
Broken mirror on Stapenhill Road, at the junction with Spring Terrace

Jim Muir, who sits on Brizlincote Parish Council, faced a criticism from Conservative county councillor Kathy Lamb and borough councillor Bernard Peters after he complained about ‘someone in London’ having a greater say on changes to the junction of Spring Terrace Road and Stapenhill Road than local planning and highways authorities.

His arguments stem from the fact that the decision not to replace a mirror, used by drivers to navigate the junction, was being handled by people who ‘don’t know the local area’.

However, Councillor Lamb, who represents the Burton Tower division on Staffordshire County Council — a seat once held by Councillor Muir for Labour — told the latest monthly meeting of the parish council that the mirror could not be replaced under new legislation.

She said: “We have all seen the emails and heard your views on this subject and I would describe them as vacuous.”

Councillor Peters, who represents Brizlincote ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council for the Tories, said: “We all know Jim has strong views on this but he has been pontificating on this point for some time.”

Councillor Lamb added: “If this issue was of such concern, then your lot (the Labour party) should have done something about it while they were in power.” Councillor Muir told the meeting: “This is not meant as a political move but if you want to talk about my lot, then I will talk about my lot.

“I just believed that more powers should be in the hand of local people and authorities, not someone in London who doesn’t know the area.”

Fellow parish council members pleaded for ‘decorum’ and everyone agreed that Councillor Muir’s comments should be recorded.

It was also announced at the meeting that following a three-year wait for action, works to improve the junction had finally started.

Kerbs are currently being realigned and the ‘stop’ road markings are being moved at the junction of Spring Terrace Road and Stapenhill Road.

The work comes after a feasibility study decided that these were the ‘best options’ for improving safety at the junction.

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