Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cambridge Local Elections - 2nd May 2013

EDIT (6/5/13) - It gives me great pleasure to observe that the vice-chairman of Cambridge Conservatives, Timothy Haire (with whom I engage in a quite fiery confrontation in the comments section of this article) lost his seat in the 2013 Local Elections.

Timothy Haire was beaten by the Labour candidate, Sandra Crawford. It is heartening to note that when responding to the Cambridge Cycle Campaign's survey, Sandra Crawford had infinitely more intelligent things to say than Timothy Haire.

Here's the hoping that in the wake of extremely poor electoral results, the Cambridge Conservatives might re-think their currently idiotic policy on cycling...


Continuing with this blog's 'call-a-spade-a-spade' approach, I thought it might be constructive to take a cycling-related stance on the upcoming County Council elections. Should you...

Vote Conservative? ... NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! This blog is a massive supporter of what Boris Johnson is doing in London, but the sad reality is that local conservative candidates up here in Cambridge are complete cretins. To name just one such cretin (although they are virtually innumerable), Timothy Haire, vice-chairman of Cambridge Conservatives, wrote some absolutely ridiculous responses to the Cambridge Cycle Campaign's questionnaire, including a breathtakingly patronising: "you really are being silly now". [if you'd prefer an extended exploration of Timothy Haire's mendacity please see the comments section]

Hello, my name's Timothy Haire, but even being photographed in black and white can't stop me looking fatill-informed and idiotic. [disclaimer: I have no idea what Timothy Haire's weight is and it was unnecessarily inflammatory to call him fat. I am sorry about doing that. But his responses in the comments section (below)  unfortunately demonstrate that he is indeed ill-informed, idiotic and a liar when it comes to cycling issues. Pretty poor given he wants to be an elected official of the UK's cycling capital...]

Vote Labour? ... NO! NO! NO! While some of their manifesto promises look good, they're not backing up claims like "We will push for investment in high-quality strategic cycle routes across the county"with actual proposals. We need specifics. It's not enough to say you support cycle routes. Where are they going to go? Where's the money going to come from? How will you negotiate opposition from motor-idiotic local residents? Labour are all words, no substance.

Vote Liberal Democrats? ... YES! YES! YES! The Liberal Democrats are the only party to have laid actual specifics on the table about what they would do. These deserve quoting in full:

  • Build the Chisholm Trail, a strategic cycle route that would run from Addenbrooke’s to the Cambridge Science Park, alongside the railway
  • Provide more cycle parking in areas of greatest demand.
  • Invest in enhancing cycle links around the county.
  • Bring junctions that are dangerous for cyclists up to a safe standard.
  • Introduce 20mph zones in densely populated residential areas, not including A and B roads, in consultation with local communities, to make travelling safer for all road users.
  • Grit more of our cycle routes, among the busiest in the country.

Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon (left) is one of many Lib Dem councillors that want to see the Chisholm Trail go ahead.

Moreover, the Liberal Democrat politicians are also happy to expand on these ideas using twitter, stating:

  • In our alt budget we proposed an extra £8m for cycle links (but £4m of that is earmarked for the Chisholm Trail in Cambridge)

If we want to see positive change on our roads, Lib Dem on a local level is clearly the way to go.

It is also the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Dr Julian Huppert, who has been relentlessly pushing the government's report 'Get Britain Cycling' in Parliament. Yet another reason to vote for a Lib Dem local government.

Julian Huppert MP (far right), sorting out cycling in the UK

Vote Green? ... NO! Like Labour, the Greens are saying the right things about cycling (isn't everyone nowadays?), but woefully lacking in specifics. We need specifics.

I'm not even going to dignify UKIP's "I would prefer more car parks" approach with a sarcastic putdown. This response to Cambridge Cycle Campaign's survey is hilarious though...


.... Finally, if you haven't already signed the e-petition for the government to implement the proposals contained in the 'Get Britain Cycling' report, please please please do so now by clicking here! 35,000 signatures in 5 days!... But we need 100,000 to trigger a debate in Parliament!