Colin Hall, Vice Chairman of Whittington Parish Council, has very kindly responded to the observations about SpID’s in Whittington that have been raised in this Blog. Colins response is as follows:
“Last year Whittington , Arkholme and Gressingham Parish councils met with Alan Cox LCC Road and Transport Safety Dept Technical Support Officer to discuss the possibility of a joint venture to purchase a SPID device.
All agreed that these were effective in reducing traffic speed through rural villages and evidence produced by the Police and Lancaster Highways confirmed this.
Unfortunately Arkholme already has a 20mph limit enforceable during term time and because of this it is not legally possible to install a SPID on the same stretch of road. Understandably Arkholme withdrew from the joint venture discussions as they would not benefit.
Gressingham decide to explore the possibility of ‘borrowing’ a SPID from Lancs County Council although as far as I know no headway has been made with this idea.
I’m sure as you drive through Gressingham you will have noticed little evidence of a SPID so far. However I think they are now considering buying one.
I am pleased to say following a site meeting in Main Street Whittington Alan Cox identified two suitable locations to mount a SPID if we were to go ahead with the project.
Cost to purchase a device is about £2500 inc. VAT and Parish Council are in the process of applying for a grant towards that cost. Locating the SPID, maintenance and deployment to two Whittington locations would be carried out by volunteers (after suitable Health and Safety training).
That is the situation as it stands today however as you say much criticism seems to have been aired regarding this project, probably fuelled by the thought of a cost of £7,800 +Vat and a 10% rise in the precept to solely fund this project.
I don’t know where the £7,800+ VAT figure comes from ( certainly not Parish Council) and it is incorrect to assume a precept increase is for the sole use of a SPID.
Parish Council is always short on funds and realises that reserves have to be built if any meaningful project is to be carried out in the village, that is why the precept was increased.
It is quite clear that this SPID issue has become very contentious so with that in mind I have asked the Parish Clerk to include it on March Parish Council Agenda for further discussion.
I hope this clarifies some of the points raised.
Colin Hall – Vice Chairman”