SALISBURY City Council leader Jeremy Nettle has rejected claims of a “public split” in the council.
Cllr Nettle, who has been council leader since 2019, has said he “agrees we are in turbulent times, but I like to think that as a City Council we are a broad church”.
It comes after Lib Dem councillor Brian Dalton said there was “very clearly a split with the Tories on the city [council]”.
This follows disagreements in the council over the People Friendly Salisbury project, with several councillors publicly opposing the plans, as well as disagreements over plans for the city at Christmas.
Cllr Nettle said: “Councillors from all political parties will have concerns regarding the impact of People friendly streets, after all this is one of the biggest attempts to change and influence the way we go about our daily lives and reduce traffic and pollution in the city centre, that we have seen since the impact of the one way system through Salisbury and the introduction of the Ring road.
“My request to all is give it a trial. If only because the data collected during this trial will be used to not only influence Wiltshire Council in their final decision, as well as the City Council.
“It will also provide important data/information to Highways England who manage the A36 Ring Road.”
Councillors and key stake holders received a final briefing on the proposed Experimental Traffic Road Order for the People Friendly Streets yesterday (September 23).
Cllr Nettle added: “With regard to the Christmas Fayre, we received a presentation from officers at last week’s full council as to what might be possible, given that we are in a global pandemic.
“This of course is very different from the very successful and popular Christmas Fayre of 2019. We have seen from Bath to Berlin right across the UK and Europe. Cities are having to rethink the provision for this Christmas. Salisbury City Council, after weighing up the options surrounding the events, and taking into account Government advice, decided it would be extremely disappointing to organise something and have to cancel at the last minute which would have incurred further costs to the Council.”
He said his decision is that it was too much of a risk to hold any sort of event.
He added: “Undeniably, 2020 has taken a very different direction for all of us and we hope that residents and businesses will understand the reason for these cancellations.”
“We are however, planning a Christmas Tree trail and if possible a socially distanced Santa’s grotto as well as some other festive events across the City.”
Cllr Dalton said: “It looks like Salisbury will end up with nothing [at Christmas], due to certain councillors ineptitude, thinking we’d get something for nothing.
“Not only this, but publicly arguing against their agenda! They run the council, it’s their agenda. The split is so public.”
Read more about the People Friendly Salisbury plans.