The council’s financial year is coming to an end. This prompted us to review progress by checking forum’s minutes and actions and thereby assessing the sincerity of the promise to develop Strategic Cycle Routes (SCR). Here’s what’s outstanding:
• (closing) budget plan 12/13
• new budget plan 13/14 to discuss priorities
• SCR programme
• Walker programme (for lessons learnt exercise)
As basic info is missing, our verdict can only be of a luke-warm persuasion. Whilst we are grateful for the existence of an established forum like this one, the running of it could however be more effective. The opportunity is there for it to function much more as a ‘project sounding board’ for the SCR development. In the interest of community engagement council should be most keen to improve effectiveness.
For that to happen, it really has to smarten up and shift up a gear. But first of all, and most fundamentally, the forum has to be run within its very own Terms of Reference, as these provide the firm footing. Unfortunately this is a renewed call from us and, whilst improvements have be made especially since the new chair took over in 2011, we still have a long way to go.
Forum’s Terms of Reference http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/wwwfileroot/legacy/regen/plantrans/CyclingForumTermsofReference.pdf [external link]
15 May 2012 Previous request of info https://newcycling.org/news/20120515/strategic-routes-update
1 December 2011 Previous forum review https://newcycling.org/news/20111201/weve-written-cllr-nigel-todd
3 July 2011 Brief to the new chair https://newcycling.org/news/20110713/weve-written-cllr-nigel-todd