Bus shelter replacement opposite the school

With reference to replacing the bus shelter opposite the school, at its regular meeting last night (15th April) Hermitage Parish Council considered carefully all the points raised, and comments made, by members of the public and thanks them all for their contributions. A fuller statement will be published on the web site by close of play on Monday.

Consideration of the design of a replacement shelter was deferred to enable the council to prepare the statement mentioned above.

Please remember that parish councillors are volunteers and are not always able to provide a response to questions and comments immediately.

HPC began discussing the dilapidated state of the bus shelter opposite the school approximately one year ago. A decision was made to replace it and work to find a suitable new one began. For a number of reasons this took longer than expected as it had been thought that the new one would be put in place last summer.

In light of recent comments from some residents, the council decided to take another vote and again decided in favour of finding a replacement. Some residents have made it plain that they disapprove of this decision. When it was made councillors were aware that 22 people had objected to a replacement and seven supported it. Both of these are small proportions of the electorate of 1426 people. A petition was received with 71 names, of which only 50 were electors, but did not say what the petition question was. 

A decision on the design and materials of the new shelter will take place at a future council meeting. The previous bus shelter lasted for 53 years. If a £5000 replacement lasts as long, it will have cost less than £95 a year, less than 7p per elector per annum.

HPC is mindful of the antisocial behaviour that took place in the old bus shelter and has been in touch with Berkshire Youth, Community Support Officers and Thames Valley Police. When the new bus shelter design is being discussed ASB will be uppermost in consideration, particularly with the distress it has caused to the nearest neighbour.

4 thoughts on “Bus shelter replacement opposite the school”

  1. As a resident of some 25 years i have the following observations on this statement.
    I am surprised that the Parish Council did not disclose the independant figures supplied by West Berkshire Transport Department in this statement. In part it indicates figures for the use of the bus stop, not the bus shelter, of five buses a day not including Sundays. On the other 6 days 3 people a day on average used the bus stop, not the bus shelter necessarily. Of these it is known that at least one user is a pupil at school in Newbury. Taking away the amount of time given for school holidays, how can the Parish Council say that this bus shelter, or any of the other bus shelters in the Parish represents value for money given the cost of insurance, cleaning and general maintenance, if not criminal damage caused to them.
    On these figures alone I am sure that the other 1425 people in the electorate may not consider this such a good deal.
    I also find it strange that the Parish Council did not contact outside bodies ie Police before making this decision. A rather perfunctory statement at the end again implies that they have only decided to do this when a decision has been reached, on the Chairs deciding vote I hasten to add. Not a unanimous vote as the statement would imply.
    The statement also implies that unless all, or the vast majority of the electorate object then opinions of those who do object are of little or no value. Can this be right?
    A decision has been made by the Parish Council on which there would appear to be no appeal process but I am positive that this matter, or similar will be raised in the future.
    The matter is quite simple, on the figures supplied by West Berkshire this bus shelter should not be replaced no matter how much spin is put on ‘value for money’.
    Clouding the issue with such statements does not change statements of fact.

    1. Thank you for your comments Mr Burnham,

      The council has made a concise statement but please rest assured that all information and all communications regarding the bus shelter, were shared with all councillors before each councillor made their own individual decision.
      For your information the police were consulted by the council, as were many other bodies to inform all councillors before the vote.
      The council has voted on two separate occasions in favour of replacing the shelter.
      There is an appeals process through WBC, if you think that the process used to reach this decision was incorrect or indeed if you wanted to request an alternative solution such as relocating the shelter elsewhere.

      1. Mr Moran,
        Thank you for your reply. I realise that this matter is taking up Council time but given the number of people who took the time to respond to the petition and the possibility that finance could be better spent elsewhere in the Parish could you please send me details of the officer at WBC who deals with appeal matters.
        Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.