Willard: Who’s in charge here?
Soldier: In charge? I don’t know man. I thought you were in charge…
If you’re looking for any hard news about the city these days – as opposed to articles about what the weather’s like or what local cancer charities are doing to raise money over the weekend – why not try page 53 of the Cancer?
Last Friday found our old friend, Merchant Venturer and unelected SWRDA board member John Savage, slipping a highly partisan article under the radar on the advantages of Bristol Airport expansion. It seems he’s even gone to the expense of forking out for his own economists to discredit Stop Bristol Airport Expansion’s economic research.
And today on page 53 we have something that appears suspiciously like a planted article about the Railway Path headlined ‘Green protest could cost us’ in which “an expert” who refuses to be named claims that “green protesters could lose Bristol millions in transport investment“.
Obviously no so-called “green protestor” is invited to reply to these claims and provide some balance to the article. Instead we get a comment from “West of England Partnership spokesman Simon Caplan”.
Caplan, by sheer coincidence, happens to run Bristol City Council’s communication department, despite Labour Councillor Faruk Choudhury recently assuring us that they – along with West of England Partnership – have nothing to do with the BRT proposal. The BRT plan says Choudhury “is only a consultant’s report prepared for the West of England Partnership.”
Not according to their new spokesman Caplan it’s not: “the West of England Partnership is committed to developing a network of state-of-the art rapid transit routes to deliver a step-change to public transport in the sub-region. The partnership is determined to secure government funding for the critical schemes that will form that network,” he says.
Not a mention of consultants there. So who is in charge of these BRT plans? Consultants? The West of England Partnership? Bristol City Council? The responsibility and accountability seems to be shifting on a daily basis now.