- Shocking response from Torbay Council, who refuses consideration of petition
- Still no evening buses between Brixham and Kingswear
- Issue raised to Central Government level
Almost 2 months since the withdrawal of evening buses between Brixham and Kingswear, Torbay Council has responded to the Save The 18 petition, which is campaigning to bring back the bus link in the evenings, and gained 711 signatures. In a shocking letter from Governance Support, it was explained: “Unfortunately, the petition you have provided does not contain any signatures and therefore cannot be accepted.”
Elliot Massey, leader of the campaign, telephoned Governance Support, as he was sure there was some kind of mistake: “I stated clearly over the phone, in utter disappointment, that I was under the impression that there were over 700 signatures attached to the petition. I also refuted the definition of ‘signature’ as one written in pen.”
The Save The 18 Campaign is certain that a ‘signature’ simply means any distinguishable mark that clearly identifies the person as being a genuine supporter. The petition sent to Torbay Council had a list of full names and postcodes – making it easy to identify genuine signatories.
Everybody who signed the petition knew that they were adding their ‘signature’ to it – it is only Torbay Council that seems to now be deciding whether or not something is a signature or not. Now we have a situation where the petition won’t even be considered for debate,
added Elliot. Mrs Murphy also claimed over the telephone that Cllr Mike Morey, from Brixham, agreed with the petition’s refusal – as did all other Council leaders.
If that allegation is true, as I said at the time Mrs Murphy told me, then we must be living in some kind of mad world, Elliot said in disbelief.
In response to the refusal of consideration, the matter has been escalated to the Department for Communities and Local Government for their opinion and advice as to whether Torbay Council’s policy should be reviewed. Along with a copy of the original petition, all correspondence between Stagecoach & Torbay Council has been attached. Elliot explains:
Making central government aware of this local issue can only be positive – therefore, I have forwarded every piece of correspondence and the petition itself.
In the meantime, we are now seeking anyone who originally signed the petition to submit his or her address plus postcode at www.torbaybusroutes.co.uk/savethe18. Finally, Elliot adds: “I want to clearly show Torbay Council that we won’t be put off my a ridiculous set of rules that tries to define what a signature is. This is a real disappointment and represents the culture of apathy at Castle Circus for the residents of Torbay, especially those in Brixham. A real disservice has been done to over 700 people, who have effectively been ignored by Torbay Council.”
A copy of the letter that has been sent to Torbay Council can be found here.