About ‘Bridge Watch’ in Sutton Bridge, Lincs
Bridge Watch has been praised in many quarters for the quality of their Website both in its appearance, ease of navigation and wide-ranging content. We know that many organisations have accessed the site and found it informative including Centrica, SHDC, Natural England, and the Environment Agency. It has been described as ‘the thinking person’s Website…’
Bridge Watch was set up initially by a small group of individual local residents, after a Sutton Bridge Parish Council Meeting on the 26th May 2009 to make a protest about the conduct of a ‘consultation’ concerned with the Bridge Road Enhancement Scheme modifications. A full account of the history and development of the Enhancement Scheme is to be found at Bridge Road Enhancement Scheme. Though the Parish Council has expressed a desire to draw a line under this issue, for Bridge Watch it will continue to stand as a glaring example of how not to conduct Parish Council business.
Under pressure from Bridge Watch, it was admitted that the deeply flawed and biased ‘consultation’ document did not come from the Parish Council at all but was issued at their own expense by certain councillors with a vested interest in getting rid of the Enhancement Scheme. All that the then ‘Standards Committee’ could find to say of this episode was that it was ‘unfortunate’. Nobody was held to account. Those who ran the flawed consultation did not get their own way entirely: at great unnecessary expense to the taxpayer a few changes were made to the road layout in Bridge Road; these have given speeding traffic even greater opportunities. In general, the issue of speeding and the consequent danger to life remains quite low on the Parish Council’s agenda.
Contrary to what some believe, Bridge Watch is strictly neutral on issues. What we would like to see happening is simply for councillors to come to monthly meetings always prepared for proper, informed, rational and democratic discussion based on openly researched facts; things should not be discussed or decided behind closed doors.
Bridge Watch will support the Parish Council whenever it finds democracy flourishing.
This has all become even more important with the ‘Coalition’ government’s drive towards what it calls ‘Localism’ — giving power to local people. Is the current Parish Council truly able to represent your ambitions? How would you know if you don’t follow their proceedings closely?
Bridge Watch will support intelligent, informed, open discussion on all issues concerning Sutton Bridge— between councillors themselves and in their dealings with other community groups.
When ‘Bridge Watch’ became a formal group, the name emerged because that is just what its members have been doing: maintaining a close watch on Sutton Bridge Parish Council in action. Bridge Watch will continue to monitor their activities to ensure that proper democractic procedures are in place and to check that councillors act on any training designed to improve their competence and help them to enhance what ought to be an important community service.
Bridge Watch has observed the positive outcomes from the Working Party set up to consider a way of extending burial facilities. It has focussed proper attention on the issue at last, produced well-researched papers made available to councillors and members of the public who attend Parish Council meetings and presented its findings to the Council in a thoroughly professional way in line with practice in the commercial world. The openness and transparency generated by this working party is a model which it would benefit the Parish Council to follow in all its deliberations.
Bridge Watch seeks to encourage residents to take an active part in community affairs by attending Parish Council Meetings.
An important aim of Bridge Watch is to see Sutton Bridge become a Community with a heart.
This Website, set up in December 2009 and regularly updated, with a monthly upwards trend of over three thousand ‘Unique Visitors’,
- Informs residents of Parish Council affairs
- Offers a space for residents to express their concerns
- Provides support to many and varied initiatives in Sutton Bridge
- Paints a vivid portrait of Sutton Bridge as a thriving community past and present
The full range of issues and topics that Bridge Watch has concerned itself with to date is to be seen on the left-hand side of this preamble.
You can help:-
- by attending Parish Council meetings
- by signifying your support for Bridge Watch by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
- by offering in any way to contribute to Bridge Watch activities
- by standing as a Parish Councillor with enthusiasm and verve and a proper comprehensive platform instead of some limited personal interest
Bridge Watch welcomes new members who are firmly dedicated to the aims and intentions of Bridge Watch.