Here we go again, more Green myths about LTN funding to set straight.

Contrary to the Green Party’s press release, Labour’s position on the Hanover & Tarner LTN has not changed. We think the LTN was poorly designed, poorly placed, and rushed through despite vocal opposition from residents.

That’s why at Budget Council last month, we re-allocated £1.1 million of capital borrowing ear-marked for this Green Party pet project, and directed it towards refurbishing public toilets they wanted to close.

However, we kept £1 million in the LTN budget, specifically to deliver the road safety improvement measures on boundary roads Elm Grove, Queens Park Road and Egremont Place, that residents were asking for long before the Greens dropped this ill-thought LTN on the area.

Even so, the Greens had no plans to deliver these safety improvements, choosing instead to play politics with people’s safety (as they have over missing child refugees and lifeguards), insisting Labour had removed all the money from the LTN so no boundary road improvements could go ahead.

So, at Policy & Resources Committee last night, we forced the administration’s hand. We brought forward an amendment that demanded they use that £1 million we had kept intact, and spend it on boundary road safety improvements on Elm Grove, Queens Park Road and Egremont Place, just as residents had requested.

The Greens’ insistence that these improvements must be linked to their wildly unpopular LTN scheme means that we had to make reference to a liveable neighbourhood – but we are totally clear the boundary road improvements should go ahead with or without the Green vanity project attached to them, and ideally without!

We’re awaiting the report the Greens will bring to the environment, transport and sustainability committee, hopefully committing to spending the money we ring-fenced for them in order to address road safety concerns on boundary roads – not ploughing ahead with an LTN nobody wants.

The Green Group choosing to spin this as a Labour u-turn, when in reality all we’ve done is force them to do what we asked them to do at Budget Council only a month ago, is frankly, for the birds. This sort of petty political spin is emblematic of an administration running on fumes, out of ideas and out of time.

May can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, be it on road safety, lifeguard services, or missing refugee children, the Greens need to stop counting votes and start protecting lives.

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