Residents hit out at councillor

PROTESTERS do not plan to support a road safety campaign because of anger at a councillor.

Campaigners fought to stop 84 homes being built in Eastfield Road, Wellingborough, voicing fears of over-development, extra strain to the road system and an increased danger to children living in the area. However, the application was approved by Wellingborough Council last month.

The following day three ward councillors, including Independent Cllr Paul Crofts, supported the launch of a separate protest group to discuss solutions to the heavy burden of traffic to the east of the town.

Eastfield Road residents attended the protest meeting with the purpose of walking out as a vote of no confidence in Cllr Crofts, who spoke in favour of the Eastfield Road development the previous evening.

Resident Gareth Jones said: “At the regulatory meeting Cllr Crofts spoke in favour of the development but less than 24 hours later he was at the meeting at the Victoria Centre championing the need for less traffic on the Eastfield Road corridor.

“It would appear that dependent on his audience, Cllr Crofts’ position on any increase in the traffic and the effect it would have on Eastfield Road are poles apart.”

Lorraine Watson said: “I’m not sure I will support the campaign as it is hard when you don’t believe in one of the group leaders.

“We tried to reduce traffic but what more can we do? The council knows our problems, our MP supported us but you feel that nothing will change.

“We have tried and tried but to lose the application knocks your confidence.”

Cllr Crofts said: “I supported the application as it will provide a high proportion of social and affordable housing. As I made clear before the meeting, that was my position and I don’t apologise. My opinions can’t please all residents all the time.

“It’s disappointing if residents will not support this campaign because of a personal issue with me. It’s a campaign run by residents who want something done about the traffic. The ward councillors support the campaign but are not running it.”

Another meeting for residents with the aim of finding a permanent solution to congestion problems will take place tonight at St Mary’s Church, Knox Road, Wellingborough, at 7.30pm.