|Tuesday, 14th November 2017
Mid-Month Update – Local Referendum on Oakham One-Way Scheme
Since I last issued an update, the number of signatories to the petition has increased by another fifty percent – growing from 1200 plus signatures last Monday to over 1800 today. And of these, over 1600 are from the LE15 area, the postcode area centered on Oakham, a figure well over the total number of respondents to the Councils ‘consultation exercise’ from which, as I am sure you will remember, they got just 710 votes in favour of Option A – the One-Way scheme.
With so many new signatories, I have appended at the foot of this mail the two previous communications so, if required, you can scroll through at your leisure. To recap on the previous points raised last Monday.
I can see that my previous message about ensuring that everybody in your household that supports this petition signs it separately has been heeded by the extra signatures that have come in that fit that criteria – thank you for that. A reminder that petition forms, for those without access to the internet, can be downloaded at the link in my previous update – beneath this mail – and scanned and emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or posted back to my home address, also listed there.
Again, I can see that leafleting has been taking place and there are some areas that are very well represented in the petition now and this must be as a result of that. For example, Braunston, Brooke, Burley and Tyne Roads in Oakham, Wheatfield Way in Barleythorpe and other examples in villages across Rutland. I’ve personally delivered leaflets to supporters who have covered High St and Crown Walk, Lonsborough Gardens, Langham generally and parts of the ‘equine’ estate and I know that Mill St and the Market Square have been similarly covered. What I would like to turn attention to now is those post codes without such good coverage – eg LE15 7ND – Bowling Green Close to take one example at random. So, if you’ve already covered your own road and are willing to walk just a bit further and do one of the less well-represented ones then just email me and I will let you know those close to your home address.
The ONE WAY / NO WAY / HAVE YOUR SAY leaflets can be downloaded ready for printing from this link (two leaflets per A4 sheet) https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5F1XB5t0Xh8OHQzVUVDWkxISFE for the pdf version and https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rwdPc-D9UdygpYykddY0L0JQgOwe6r50 for a powerpoint version instead, or you can ask me to print some and drop off for you of course.
Letter Writing & Social Media
Please keep writing to our MP, Sir Alan Duncan, email@example.com and your own Councillor http://rutlandcounty.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1. The more individual contacts these ladies and gentlemen have from all of us the more they are forced to realise both the strength and the depth of local opinion regarding the planned One-Way scheme. Social Media is a great way to share the petition link as well. You’ll see regular updates from me on my FB pages and the more shares we get the better, so please spread the message. I don’t have a Twitter account but would ask those that do to ‘tweet’ the petition link as well.
The One-Way scheme has filled the letters pages in the two local papers for over a month now with very few pro-scheme letters and many excellent and well-thought out criticisms of the way this is being pursued by Rutland County Council especially in view of those areas locally which such a huge sum of money as £3.5m would be better spent on – Rutland Memorial, Oakham Medical Centre, threats to reduce local emergency services, social care provision with the growing elderly population in Rutland – to name just a few. Let’s keep them coming and if you know the correspondents, please ensure that they have signed the petition too. I’ve had less luck with Rutland Radio and their parent company, Lincs FM, although they did feature the petition back on the 25th October when it was “over 500 signatures”, link here http://www.rutlandradio.co.uk/news/local-news/campaigners-in-oakham-want-referendum-on-one-way-system/ . We’ve almost quadrupled that figure now but they seem reluctant to cover the petition again, the person I contacted telling me that ‘as the Council hadn’t commented on the petition – neither could they’, which seems a strange position for a supposedly apolitical, commercial, local radio station to take, especially in view of the extensive reporting they’ve given today to the start of the Library Exhibition of the ‘Oakham Regeneration (One-Way) plan and to Tony Mathias’s interview in favour of it. If, like me, you feel that this is not balanced reporting then please write to their lead DJ, Rob Persani, firstname.lastname@example.org or their newsdesk, email@example.com and tell them so.
Street Stall / Protest March etc
At the moment and certainly since my last update, I’m seeing very little appetite for this kind of activity and so there are no plans to do anything of this nature, at present, unless I receive a strong swell of opinion in favour. However, I do hope that as many of you as possible will be able to turn up for the hand-over of the petition – exact timing to be announced later and I hope that local media will cover that too.
Once again, thank you for your support and suggestions to date. Let’s keep up the pressure, keep up the leafleting, the collecting of signatures and let’s show Rutland County Council that we’re serious, we mean business and we don’t intend to see our local town turned into a ghost town because of some very poorly thought through local government decision-making.
Monday, 6th November 2017
Petition Update and the Way Forward
It’s hard to believe that it’s not been much more than a week since this petition was launched and we are already at over 1200 signatures. (1255 at the time of writing to be exact). Nearly twelve hundred of those lie within the LE area and 1100 of that total within LE15, the post code area centred on Oakham itself and basically comprising the Rutland county area. That’s well over a thousand local people, people who work, live, shop and socialise in Oakham, demanding a voice in the future of their own town and getting close to double the amount that voted in the previous petition or who responded positively to the Council’s own so-called ‘consultation’.
You’ll see my letter in this week’s local papers (copied at the foot of this mail) and I have used that to set the deadline for this petition as Thursday, 30th November That is the day I plan to hand the full petition over in Catmose, hopefully directly to Tony Mathias, Council Leader and, again hopefully, with some media coverage. This gives us four weeks from the date of this email to drive the petition to gain as many signatures as we possibly can. My ideas on achieving this are:
1. Signatures. Let’s make sure that with all existing signatories that wherever possible, everyone (in agreement) in the same household has separatelysigned the petition. Change 38 seems to have a problem where couples sharing the same email address are only allowed to sign the petition once so separate email addresses should be used and I do appreciate that this is not always possible in every instance. I’ve also been asked a few times about the process of getting signatures from those without ready access to the internet. There are paper petition forms and you can download them here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mIcavpbpBglAHpkYlUjwtq3fgBEYYBGl. (Phone numbers not required). Completed forms can be scanned and sent back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to my home address: Park Barn, Home Farm Close, Burley, Rutland LE15 7ST.
2. Leafleting. Change 38 saves signatures on a postcode basis and this means I am able see the number of signatories in each postal code area. So, when I last updated the table this morning at 1254 Signatures, I could quickly see that 1094 of those were in the LE15 area. Drilling down further, 564 are in the LE15 6xx area, 248 in the LE15 7xx area etc etc. From this I know that I have signatories in LE15 6AA (Church Street), LE15 6AE (Crown Street), LE15 7SA (Lonsborough Gardens, Langham) and LE15 9DY (Willoughby Road, Morcott) to take just a very few random examples. Now, I’ve done a lot of political leafleting in the past and I personally don’t enjoy it one little bit but I’ve done it where I’ve passionately believed in the cause and where it’s been one way to get the message across. So, I fully understand anyone and everyone who doesn’t want to leaflet but…. If just half of the people that have already signed the petition print off just ten leaflets and deliver them only in their local and neighbouring roads that’s 6000 potential new signees reached…… Deliver 20 and that’s suddenly 12000! I’ll be making a start in the LE15 7ST area this weekend and I hope that many of you will consider doing the same in your own roads too. Many thanks to the supporter who created the leaflet and who has already been out in Oakham town centre handing them out. You can download it ready for printing from this link (two leaflets per A4 sheet) https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5F1XB5t0Xh8OHQzVUVDWkxISFE or you can ask me to print some and drop off for you of course.
3. Letter Writing. Please write to your Councillor and to our MP and express your support for this petition. I know from personal experience that letters, especially to Alan Duncan, often seem to receive nothing but a seemingly pro-forma response from Fraser Raleigh or another of his assistants but nevertheless it all sends a clear message that many many local voters are very very concerned about the proposed one-way system and RCCs high-handedness in forcing it through without proper consultation. Write to Alan Duncan here: email@example.com and find your Councillor here:
4. Street Stalls. I’ve done Street Stalls in the past on Market Days in Oakham, Uppingham and Melton Mowbray and they can be very effective. I know that there has also been discussion about a protest march and so I just open this up here to get some feedback on the appetite for one or two public events like these in November. Please write back and let me have your opinions / suggestions.
5. Social Media. As you may have noticed, I’m regularly promoting the petition via my own FaceBook pages and would be very grateful if you could do the same. Also, as I don’t ‘tweet’, if those supporters who have Twitter accounts could share via that medium that would also be very helpful in getting the word out. Thank you in advance for that.
6. Funding. I’m pleased to say – none required! Except for some printer paper, ink and shoe leather. This could be the cheapest campaign you’ve ever supported but also, locally, one of the most important.
Thank you again for all the support to date. Let’s have a busy November driving this Campaign on together.
Letter to Rutland Times / Rutland Mercury
I would like to thank everyone who has, to date, signed the petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/local-referendum-on-oakham-one-way-scheme.
At the time of writing the number of signatures has doubled since last week’s publication and is rapidly approaching the one thousand mark. It’s worth highlighting that of these, nearly 90% are from the LE15 postal code area; that area, centred on Oakham, stretching from Clipsham in the north-east to the Eye Reservoir in the south, from Withcote in the west to Great Casterton in the east. In other words, pretty much the whole of Rutland. If signatures from LE13 /14 / 16 are included, that figure rises to over 90%. Over 900 local people, people that live in, work in, shop in and socialize in Oakham want RCC to involve them properly in the most important decision to affect their local town since the by-pass went in. That’s significantly more than signed the previous petition and, importantly, far more than voted for the one-way system in the Council’s own rather selective poll.
I plan to keep this petition running on into November with various activities to gather as many signatures as possible before handing it in on Thursday, 30th November and I hope to hand it in, personally, to Tony Mathias, Council Leader, on that date. I hope that our elected Councillors and our MP will listen to the strength of opinion locally that is being clearly demonstrated here and properly consult with their voters by means of a local referendum instead of simply ignoring their electorate and proceeding with their own plans regardless.
Monday, 30th October 2017
Well on our way to 1000 Votes!
Just a very quick update as reported on my Facebook Page this morning – Please see the following link: https://www.facebook.com/gerry.robinson.391/posts/10214649759466105
Also, many thanks to supporters who were out over the weekend leafleting in Oakham and visiting Oakham shops to ascertain / garner their support for the Petition.
A full report and my plans for the next phase will follow later this week. As usual, all comments / suggestions are welcome.
Gerry Robinson started this campaign on the 38 Degrees Campaigns by You website. If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.