Public Meeting Report – 14th November 2014

Public Meeting Report

What a fantastic turnout at the public meeting tonight. We’ll be adding more information shortly but the main points are:

  • We estimate around 700 people attended. The hall was full with many standing. A side room with a video link had been provided and this was also full with standing room only.
  • Members of the Hawthorn Road Action Group explained what had happened so far and what residents could do to object to the closure of Hawthorn Road.
  • Questions from residents were answered by the Action Group and also by County Councillors present.
  • Several Parish, District and County Councillors addressed the meeting to give their support to keeping Hawthorn Road open.
  • Sir Edward Leigh MP our local MP finally closed the meeting commenting that he fully supported the residents campaign.

The photo below shows the hall relatively early whilst there was still standing room in the main hall!

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Responses to the Meeting

The meeting was the lead news item on BBC local radio on Friday evening and Saturday morning after the meeting.

The following link provides BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s coverage of the meeting and includes interviews with Sir Edward Leigh who attended the meeting and Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill’s response.

Facebook Post by BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

Comments about the Meeting from Residents

The following comments were taken from our facebook page.

“Well done on a professional job tonight, hope the actions from everyone now follow.”

“What a brilliantly positive meeting last night. Your selfless hard work is paying off. Let’s hope that all who attended put pen to paper. OBJECT, OBJECT!”

“Well done,you were all very professional and put across some fantastic points.we live just off Hawthorn rd … and we are very lucky to have such a great team doing all this to save our road. Letters of objection will be going everywhere.”

“Just wanted to say I thought after attending the meeting tonight that u all have done a fantastic job xxx letter of objection being sent from here”

“Great meeting very informative and will definitely write my letter to object this weekend.”

“I attended the meeting tonight and I have to say I felt quite emotionally proud of the Action Group I do not know any of you personally but I felt you are a very strong group and feel most proud that you are acting on behalf of us all thank you and well done xxxx”

“Congratulations on a very well put together meeting tonight. I will be writing my objection letter this weekend and urge others to do the same. We all have a voice and ones the chance to use it.”

“Why not scrap the footbridge over the Fiskerton Road and use the money to upgrade the one over Hawthorn? Why do they need a footbridge over there when there’s no footpath to Cherry anyway?”

Minor edits have been made to remove addresses etc.

 What’s Next?

The deadline for objections to the Department for Transport expired on 5th Dec 2014. It would however still be very useful for anyone who was unable to write an objection letter to the DfT to complain directly to Lincolnshire County Council.

Details of how to object can be found on the “How to Object” page.

We understand the DfT have received several hundred letters objecting to the closure of Hawthorn Road. Huge thanks to all who took the time and effort to write letters. Also many thanks to the many kind comments of support we have received.

The next stage is for The DfT to decide whether a public inquiry is justified. This may take several weeks and it is unlikely a decision will be known until after Christmas.

Interesting Side Note

Sir Edward when speaking at the meeting speculated that Hawthorn Road had existed as an access for Reepham and Cherry for many years. After a bit of research (ie typing “old maps Reepham” into Google) the earliest map we can find showing Hawthorn Road is 1831 although I suspect it has been around a lot longer.

Lincoln1831

 

Its also shown on the 1888 OS maps which are available for browsing at:

http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=15&lat=53.24448&lon=-0.48716&layers=171

We also had an interesting email from one of our supporters who has done some research on Hawthorn Road:

“Hawthorn Road, previously known as Stocking Lane, is an historic route dating back at least to the mid‐Saxon period when the King’s Reeve used it as a direct route from his administrative base in Lincoln Castle to his farmstead (ham) in Reepham – the clue is in the name. It is even possible that it dates back to Roman times, linking the Colonia with known Roman settlements in parish. It certainly was a major access route from the Cathedral to the important Abbey at Barlings in medieval times. This is not just an obscure country lane but a major historic route to significant settlements with Royal connections. It must not be expunged purely because of a miscalculation by the County Council”

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