This morning I had a meeting with Cornwall Council's Highways and Parking boss Cllr Graeme Hicks and a senior officer to discuss various delays and problems in the Launceston area.
First up was a delay to a number of improvements to roads and parking around town. These changes range from new disabled bays to residents parking schemes in Western Road, Kensey Hill and Race Hill. These were originally meant to be put out for formal consultation in October last year but were then delayed (with no explanation) until March. Only at the beginning of this week were local councillors told that the consultation had been delayed until May.
There can often be good reasons why schemes like this are delayed - but Cornwall Council has lost credibility by failing to keep local people and elected councillors informed.
I've asked officers to tell me why the delays happened and to make sure that there is better communication to residents and councillors in future. I've also asked for the consultation in Launceston to go ahead as soon as possible with no further unexplained delays.
Secondly, I raised the issue of the delay to the new pedestrian crossing at St Thomas Road / Newport Square. This was built into the work schedule for the current financial year and has simply not appeared. Again - there may be valid explanations for delay, but keeping communities in the dark is not acceptable. I've asked for an explanation for the delay and a guaranteed timetable for the works to be completed.
(I also raised the issue of the increased parking charges and the damage they are doing to our town centre. I was told that officers wanted to see the results of the first full year of the new charges - in May - before they would consider action.)