RMA General Meeting

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  councillorkieranwebstermorganstownward 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #8160

    gordon
    Participant

    I would respectfully urge the RMA to reconsider its decision to include an agenda item for a discussion on road safety at its General Meeting on Monday 19th November, on the occasion of the visit and address of its president, Kevin Brennan MP.
    It is both unfortunate and regretful that this agenda item has been announced in the week that a major road safety public information event in Radyr has been announced on local social media and by door-to-door leafletting throughout Radyr and Morganstown. This public information meeting, to be held at Radyr Comprehensive School on Tuesday 20th, has been organised by the Radyr and Morganstown Love our Villages residents’ group and has, as its main speakers, Rod King MBE of the national UK ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ campaign and Dr Sarah Jones from Public Health Wales, a leading researcher in the field. Our local representatives, including Councillor Rod McKerlich, Kevin Brennan and Mark Drakeford have been personally invited to this meeting.
    It makes no sense, I would argue, to have two public meetings on road safety in the ward on consecutive evenings. Moreover, it is odd that, out of the blue, the RMA has considered its General Meeting, with its key talk by Kevin Brennan on life in Westminster, to be an appropriate occasion for a discussion on road safety, in the knowledge that a dedicated public meeting has already been organised for the following evening. It is equally disappointing that Councillor McKerlich has agreed to lead the discussion, in the light of the invitation extended to him to attend the Radyr Comprehensive meeting.
    Should the RMA discussion go ahead, it will be seen by many, including myself, as a complete and disrespectful betrayal of the efforts of a group of residents to effect change in terms of road safety in the ward, particularly along its main thoroughfare, Ty Nant Road/Heol Isaf, and particularly for the sake of our children. It will not have escaped the attention of all residents that there are numerous signs along the whole length of Heol Isaf/Ty Nant Road, and that the number of these signs is growing week by week. This is not a fad of handful of residents!
    Sadly, it would appear that the views of residents simply don’t count, that all initiatives have to be led and owned by those who purport to represent us, especially when , as privileged members of public bodies, they would prefer their own views to prevail. Well, as a somewhat ‘senior’ resident, let me say how proud and impressed I am, of this group of concerned friends and neighbours, who have given their valuable free time, their money and their ability to consider and understand the raft of arguments on all sides of the road safety debate.

    #8161

    griff
    Participant

    Well said Gordon. I often feel as though our Councillor thinks this is his personal fiefdom to be run as he pleases

    #8162

    emma
    Participant

    Agree entirely, the RMA are a fantastic group that do a great job of organising events that all the community enjoy such as the festival, Christmas lights etc but I don’t see what place road safety has last minute on this agenda? How does road safety fit within their remit & why would they not attend the event the following evening instead if they wish to discuss it as the plans put forward by the council are going to be available then along with a other educational opportunities.

    #8163

    association
    Participant

    Apologies. We did not intend this to be a discussion about overall road safety and why the proposals were put in place, but to ensure people know what actions are being proposed by Cardiff Council. As we already have a main speaker for the evening, we expect this to be a short information-giving session explaining the proposals.
    The RMA is a membership organisation (formed in 1987) which cares for the environment, and is willing to work with any other organisation that supports our aims. We invited Cllr McKerlich to brief our members on the new proposals put out by Cardiff Council long before we heard of the meeting being held the following day. We see no conflict with the matter of traffic safety being addressed at both meetings and we will encourage our members to attend that meeting. In technical terms, being a membership organisation, we do need to consult our members as to what we should be doing on their behalf. We have not actively campaigned on the 20mph issue but will do so if asked.

    #8166

    radyrwoods
    Participant

    All everyone wants is a safe community. And it’s great to see so many people working so hard to achieve this.

    Kevin Brennan happens to be at the RMA meeting on the Monday.

    Can’t see anybody on the Road Traffic Information Group wanting to lose an opportunity to explain to Kevin how very worried we all are.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if he could hear from the Group at the Tuesday meeting but that isn’t an option this time.

    This is an opportunity, which I hope will be taken by at least some representatives of the Road Traffic Information Group to outline their concerns to Kevin.

    We are ONE community. So many of us work really hard to enrich our community. I for one am incredibly proud of the effort people have made to Commemorate World War One. That was a war, where people’s egos got in the way of peace..( read Ken Follett’s book The Fall of Giants) and the hell that resulted from that should have taught us all a lesson.

    The RMA just happen to have Kevin at their meeting on Monday. Come along, support them and use the discussion time to make sure Kevin knows what we need to happen to make things safer…

    Best wishes to you all
    Helen
    :- )

    #8167

    gordon
    Participant

    Helen,

    I was earlier informed by the RMA that the road safety agenda item was NOT a discussion but a short briefing by Rod McKerlich on CCC’s proposals. Now you suggest that it’s a discussion and that we could use the discussion time to outline our concerns to Kevin. So could you all get your story straight?

    ‘Kevin just happens to be there’? No he doesn’t just happen to be there; he’s the invited speaker (President of the RMA) at a General Meeting. Our group has constantly informed Kevin of our concerns, and I’m sure he’s not expecting to be lobbied on this issue when he has been invited to give a talk on the Westminster village. I’ve written to him on more than one occasion and have spoken personally to him about ‘our concerns’.

    I am also at a loss to see what reference to WW1 has to do with road safety – a complete non sequitur. With a grandfather who was seriously wounded during the Ieper campaign and a Belgian grandmother (his wife) who was forced to abandon her homeland as a refugee and flee to England, I don’t need reminding about the tragedy of that war.

    #8168

    It is understandable that residents, particularly those who live on our main Village Road, are very, very frustrated with the failure of the Local Authority and our National Government.

    As a Father of two boys, I am! Equally, I think our Elected Representatives are also frustrated at the deficit and tardiness of progress. We all struggle on.

    I think with all conflict there is common ground to be found; and, with this one, in particular, we are all looking at the same ground.

    Cardiff Council – with the support of the Welsh Assembly – SIMPLY HAVE TO DELIVER the full comprehensive plan that they have outlined, with additional recommendations provided by the local knowledge of Residents themselves, the Community Council Advisory Working Group and our County Councillor, to:

    1. severely restrain demand and divert cut-through traffic to alternative modes and routes of travel,

    2. rectify the road-user needs imbalance towards thousands of pedestrians and cyclists,

    3. improve road safety, through speed reduction and adequately spaced and located safe crossings for vulnerable people on their way to School, Shops, Buses, Trains, Local Amenities and Work,

    4. facilitate active travel and public health benefits for many thousands of residents, and

    5. overcome the severance of our community caused by a road that has an inappropriate function and inadequate geometry and design.

    RMCC, RMA, County Councillor, Residents’ Safety Group – the people – do all want the same thing … but to understand this we must all talk with each other and honour each others’ role and convictions. All our views and actions are equally important.

    Every Stakeholder brings a distinct advantage of perspective and action … but over time we are coalescing on what is needed.

    We need to all keep the main thing as the main thing, which is that WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE and MUST ALL WORK TOGETHER GET IT DELIVERED.

    It would be great to see the RMA, with Kevin Brennan (MP), meeting (19th) supported, with Rod McKerlich (County Councillor) giving a Road Safety Update.

    It would be equally important to see the Road Safety meeting (20th), arranged by residents, to share information on advances in Road Safety, supported.

    I think it would be a real shame on Radyr – and Wales – if we didn’t offer a whole community welcome to Rod King MBE, who is an internationally respected campaigner for Road Safety.

    Equally, we should honour our local elected representatives and give them room to also welcome Rod King (20s Plenty for us) and Dr Sarah Jones, who is also a Radyr resident (Public Health Wales)!

    I have shared, elsewhere, that the Poppies on the lamp posts symbolise commemoration and care for those affected by war; but they also demarcate a Village street, on and off of which 9000 people live.

    It is the same community that cares enough to show, in such an excellent and creative way, that we care for the WW1 Centenary, which also wants to see the same length of road become a liveable street, safer for all those who live on it and use it.

    Let’s come together and sort this out. We are Radyr and Morganstown and people of influence in Welsh society.

    #8169

    boris
    Participant

    I posted on the other thread the following:

    Could you clarify what “Public information” is to be discussed?

    What is on the agenda?

    Could someone kindly answer my query if possible as trying to read through the lengthy tirades above do not give an answer.

    Thanks in advance.

    #8170

    gordon
    Participant

    Boris, the discussion at this meeting will focus on road safety and environmental issues: speed reduction, pedestrian injury and fatalities, pollution from vehicle emissions etc.

    Rod King MBE is a national and international campaigner, principally in respect of the introduction of 20 mph limits in urhan areas, who was awarded the MBE for his work in the field of road safety.
    http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Seminars/Children_and_Road_Safety/Biographies/Biography%20Rod%20King%20MBE.pdf)

    Dr Sarah Jones is the injuries lead for Public Health Wales (PHW) with a special interest in road traffic injuries. She has published extensively in this field.
    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/67131

    The presentation by these two speakers will address such road safety issues, with reference to a large body of research. These issues are clearly relevant to the problems facing Ty Nant Road/Heol Isaf running through our villages, with speeding traffic, increased traffic loads, and with increasing illegal transit by HGVs servicing the housing development along the Llantrisant Road.

    We hope the meeting will enable residents in Radyr and Morganstown to consider measures (and their consequences) that need to be taken to make our streets safer for all, and especially for our children, and to share their views with others.

    And, of course, people will be able to make their own minds up on these issues.

    #8171

    boris
    Participant

    Thank you Gordon.

    #8247

    gordon
    Participant

    Please forgive me for the length of this post, but considering its gravity, I cannot respond with twitter-like brevity! (Do not feel obliged to read it!)
    Following my posts on the Forum of November 7th (RMA General Meeting) and November 8th (Residents Road/Traffic information), I received an email from Councillor Rod McKerlich, demanding a retraction for the comments I had made, warning me of possible legal action on the part of Community Council colleagues and accusing me of defamation, and of attacking him personally, as the ‘Conservative sitting County Councillor for Radyr and Morganstown’, under the cloak of anonymity, both in terms of my private identity and of my Labour Party allegiance.

    Before I respond publicly to Cllr McKerlich’s email, let me copy it here:

    “Dear Gordon,
    My wife drew my attention to this post and I write to point out most strongly that your comments about the Community Council are both totally false and grossly defamatory. If you read the attached minutes of our July finance committee, you will realise the accuracy of my statement. You have urged me to behave magnanimously and I suggest that it would be magnanimous if you published a retraction and an apology. If you do so, it may be that my community councillor colleagues will take no further action.
    On the initial substantive point, I accepted the invitation to lead the RMA discussion on 25th October and heard about your meeting on 5th November for the first time. It did not occur to me to refuse the RMA invitation; I make a habit of accepting all such invitations unless I have a prior commitment.; I am sure you would expect a Labour Councillor to behave in the same way. If you check the RMA minutes of past meetings you will see that I attend almost all of their meetings and I am minuted as having briefed members a number of times on highway matters.
    On a related matter do you feel comfortable in lurking behind a pseudonym, without disclosing that you are a senior member of the local Labour Party, when attacking a Conservative sitting Councillor. I expect this from Plaid but not from Labour.
    Regards
    Rod McKerlich
    Phone number 029 20842764”

    Furthermore, I have subsequently been given to understand that if I fail to ‘retract’ my comments, Cllr McKerlich will ask the Forum moderators to ban me from the Forum!
    Let me then first address the issue of my comment that the Residents Group funding request had been rejected ‘out of hand’. As the minutes of the relevant Finance Committee meeting (5th July 2018) clearly show, the various aspects of the request were duly considered. The minutes of the meeting in question are available on the Community Council pages of the R&M Website /council/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/09/Finance-Minutes-5th-July-2018.pdf)

    My expression ‘out of hand’ was therefore misleading, and I apologise for having given the wrong impression. However, in no sense was any ‘irregularity’ or ‘lack of due process’ suggested in my post on the part of the CC Finance Committee.
    Essentially, by ‘out of hand’ I was trying to give the idea that not one single penny of Community Council funding was offered to the Residents Group, the sole concern of which is to campaign for vastly improved road safety along Heol Isaf/Ty Nant Road. All that has been done/organised by this group, with substantial support from the community, has been funded by individuals within the group. Every single ‘20’s Plenty’ sign now found in many gardens along the route was made and paid for out of group members’ pockets. Every single leaflet delivered (by members of the group) was designed and paid for by members of the group. Likewise, room/hall-hire for public meetings has been at the personal expense of group members.
    Secondly, let me address Cllr McKerlich’s suggestion that I had used the anonymity of the Forum to hide behind my Labour Party allegiance and personal identity to ‘attack’ him. As he no longer engages with the Forum, he will have missed my post of May 18th2017 (Anonymity on the Forum) copied below. (I am in retrospect rather perplexed that, given my anonymous post on the Forum, Rod McKerlich was able to identify me and personally email me).

    “Dear moderators and contributors,
    Isn’t it time to remove the cloak of anonymity from Forum contributions? The Forum is now used by a number of contributors often to express their anger, directing it against those who have been elected to office, and often in ad hominem attacks. I wonder whether the level and tone of criticism expressed would remain the same, were the identity of those who express it to be known to the community. We own and are responsible for our words. And if we have the courage of our convictions, why should we wish to hide behind anonymity to express them?
    There is nothing inherently wrong with expressing one’s anger or being critical, and at times it may well be perfectly justified. But let’s own up to it, let’s know who is angry. After the anonymous personal attacks on Cllr McKerlich during the Council elections, I find it unsurprising that he is no longer willing to engage with unattributed comments on the Forum. Besides, as our representative on Cardiff Council, he has well-advertised contact details on the R & M website. I use his RMcKerlich@cardiff.gov.uk address whenever I need to raise some issue with him.
    So, in a first gesture towards openness, and to obviate any accusation of hypocrisy or of being a political apologist for Rod McKerlich, my name is Gordon Tucker, I live on Heol Isaf, and I’m currently secretary of the local branch of the Labour Party.”

    Indeed, it was I who initially raised the question of anonymity on the Forum, particularly in terms of personal attacks on Cllr McKerlich, as had been the case with a number of participants’ posts. Despite our strong differences in political allegiance, I have NEVER attacked him – and certainly not party-politically – indeed if you check through my past posts, I have regularly defended him.
    Given that until now, Rod McKerlich and I have had the most cordial of relationships, I feel particularly bruised by his comments. And nowhere in my commentary in the two recent posts did I level any criticism at him personally.
    As for my concern over discussion of road safety at the Annual Meeting of the RMA, the evening before the Public Information meeting on the same subject, organised by the ‘Love our Villages’ residents group, I accept entirely that Cllr McKerlich had been invited by the RMA to address this issue well before the announcement of the residents’ group meeting. My concern was in respect of the announcement of this item on the agenda of the RMA General Meeting. I did receive a very civil, explanatory response from the RMA on this.

    Finally, I refer to other ‘comments’ I made about the Community Council’s perceived behaviour in respect of the activity of the Residents group, which have provoked their ire. Those with an awareness of linguistic devices will have noticed that mostly I used the term ‘it would seem that’. These are then impressions, both impressions I have personally garnered, and those of a number of other residents, who have shared their own with me. Impressions cannot be retracted, even if they are misguided or simply wrong.
    It is a sad day for democracy when a representative body, such as the Community Council, is unable to accept any form of criticism from residents who, through their council tax, pay a precept to finance it. From many posts, past and present, on the Forum, Cardiff County Council is not immune from extreme negative comment, and it is difficult to see why our Community Council should be. I do not consider my impressions ‘defamatory’, and I’m sure that had the RMA felt that I had breached their code of conduct, they would have removed my posts immediately, to avoid themselves being held legally responsible. Those of you who know me as a contributor to the Forum would probably accept that my posts are typically non-confrontational and never ad hominem personal. I might also add that I have been far more critical of the ruling party in County Hall, my own party, than ever of our Conservative County councillor or the Community Council. My allegiance here, on the Forum, is an allegiance to Radyr and Morganstown and its residents. Finally, if Rod McKerlich has decided to ‘unfriend’ me, that is his choice, which I fully respect, not mine, even though that saddens me.

    #8248

    Dear Gordon,

    Thank you for clarifying the grammatical, philosophical and personal meaning of your viewpoint.

    My personal reading is that you have been clear that there is no allegation of instant dismissal or impropriety but that it is your view that there, ‘seems to have been a lack of empathy with the group’s worthiness and sympathetic consideration of their cause.’

    Again, just my personal view, but that seems a perfectly reasonable view to express; one which could be a basis for conversation between those who agreed or disagreed with it.

    I also get a strong sense of your respect for Rod’s Office and for Democracy and that should be commended by everyone and valued by our County Councillor.

    I noted at the Public Meeting organised by #LoveOurVillages that Rod made a grateful acknowledgement of the Residents’ campaign, as ‘adding very helpful weight to ongoing efforts to ensure that Cardiff Council improved road safety in R+M’; and that the #LoveOurVillages made a grateful acknowledgement of ‘past efforts and the need for ongoing support from the Community Council and County Councillor, to ensure that Cardiff Council delivered on road safety improvements.’

    Again, just my personal view, but the Community Council and Residents’ Group now share the same aim, which is to ensure that Cardiff Council delivers on their Concept Design. There are some things that the Council can work in collaboration with both residents and Cardiff Council, such as social marketing and ensuring that motorists traveling through the Village are aware that it is a community safety area, a village where people live, a crisscross of walking and cycling routes etc.

    Obviously, the Community Council and #LoveOurVillages will, necessarily and rightly, be focused on different processes and approaches. Residents have the democratic right to put pressure on elected representatives, as well as simultaneously looking for their endorsement and support. This is true of all Community Groups and Third Sector Providers.

    However, some of these will inevitably overlap – we are all concerned with the safety of our vulnerable residents, at the end of the day – and it is here that I hope, personally, that we can all combine efforts, when that is needed to be fruitful and successful, whilst being aware that there will also be divergence.

    Thank you for your ongoing work to improve the life chances and wellbeing of our children/elderly and disabled people, as well as the liveability of our community’s streets.

    All best wishes,

    Kieran

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