At the recent EWR Public Q & A with the Mayor and members of the Borough Council, I was astonished at the callous and patronising nature with which some of the attendees were treated. Residents posed well researched and thought through questions to the panel.
One such concerned resident put forth an alternative proposal to Route E.
Clearly having taken many hours of research into the topic and with specific expertise in engineering and a business background, a long time resident of Ravensden presented the council with a comprehensive proposal.
Rather than listening to and addressing these very real fears, Cllr Headley dismissed the consideration of other routes as ‘fantasy’ and ‘mythical’.
Hardly the understanding listening ear one expects from an elected official. He then went on to say: “When you deal with the real world there are all sorts of impacts we’re talking about; communities and the environment”.
Cllr Headley should be under no illusion that the residents who took the time to respond to this ‘listening exercise’ are very much living in the real world.
The very real world where their own communities and environments are under threat.
The real world where numerous concrete viaducts are set to tower over and dissect entire villages and sensitive biodiverse habitats are to be destroyed.
Furthermore, during a meeting with The Protect Poets group, a resident in very real danger of losing her home asked the council if they would still support Route E if the 6 track option were to go ahead.
Whilst the Mayor replied that he would still support Route E, even if it ultimately ended up six-track because it was ‘good for Bedford’, Cllr Headley had the audacity to reject her question on the grounds that it was ‘hypothetical’.
There has also been an implication that those questioning the EWR proposals are being misinformed and misled by a handful of loud voices.
As the responses to the Parish Council and public Q&A meetings with BBC demonstrate this could not be further from the truth.
Entire communities are becoming informed, analysing the existing factual evidence and realising that the very officials elected to protect and represent them do not have their best interests at heart.
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