I recently sent the letter below to the Press in respect of the NGT Inquiry that is still ongoing.
I have attended many sessions of the public Inquiry being held into the scheme to bring the NGT system to Leeds and I have been given the opportunity to cross-examine Council Officers and its fellow promoters on a number of occasions. What I have not been able to do however is to hold to account the individual Senior politicians responsible for promoting this scheme.
I have been approached by a number of objectors who have asked me whether I would pursue this but in my quest to do so I am stopped at every turn. This only serves to convince me further that this scheme is wrong and that the politicians responsible cannot defend their decisions to go ahead with it.
It has been made clear to me that I am a thorn in the side of those who support NGT and the NGT team have no regard or time for me and the other objectors and would like us all to disappear.
I would ask, what has the Council got to hide? If this project is right for Leeds these Councillors will be able to show the benefits in easily understood terms. Their case will then be made and the Inspector will see that I and the objectors do not know what we are talking about.
I shall continue to attend the Public Inquiry and question and cross examine those in front of us; it is sad that the politicians responsible will not equally stand up for what they believe in. I am told they do not have to do this, so they won’t, but surely if they believe in it wholeheartedly they would want to come forward and tell us all what a benefit it is going to be.
In my experience of chairing a Scrutiny Board for the last 10 years there is a lot of benefit to holding members of the Council’s Executive Board to account, but the success of the scrutiny process is at least partially dependent on members of the executive agreeing to put themselves and their decisions forward for scrutiny. Why are the people of Leeds denied that opportunity in the case of the NGT Inquiry?
This city is the only major city in Europe without a modern public transport system. Let’s get it right, so that all of the city can benefit, from a truly integrated and interconnected system that we all desire for the city.