LIGHTEN THE LOAD

A361 history part 3: 2015-2017

When I started getting involved with trying to have the A361 freed from the tyranny of HGV traffic, I was aware that a campaign called ‘Lighten the Load’ had been active a few years before but had now gone dormant. The Town Council’s A361 committee had been set up as a direct response to Lighten the Load and had originally included several members of the group as well as Town Councillors; now there was only one ‘public’ member of the committee left. I wanted to understand better what had happened.

I contacted Katarina Sonntag, who had first got Lighten the Load going, and I arranged to meet up with her and to talk about her experience. We were in touch by email and I asked her to write out a timeline of the campaign, what it had done and what had become of it. She did, and the first thing I noticed was that as a campaign it had only been active for two years, which surprised me. Its effect seems much greater.

Three years further on, Lighten the Load posters are still in peoples’ windows up and down Chilkwell Street – ‘We Need Safe Pedestrian Crossings’ – ‘This is our Tourist Trail, Re-route HGVs’ – ‘Respect Our Safety, Re-route HGVs’. There is still a link to their website prominently displayed on the Town Council’s website. I knew that they had raised thousands of signatures on a petition.

I had never displayed one of their posters myself. The logo looked too much like a stylised bypass going round the Tor, even though the slogans seemed alright and were focused on re-routing. For the same reason I had never signed their petition – I didn’t want heavy traffic re-routed down a new road across the Levels. Our email communication had ended on the same note: now that the possibility of a bypass had come up she was in favour of it ‘as a last resort’. When she later understood the scale of development that would come with it she changed her mind, though for the time being I said that we were never going to agree on that but I would like to meet her anyway.

We met in a café in town. I was a little late because I’d rushed out of the house and forgotten to bring any money, so on the way I’d made a hurried detour to borrow a fiver from a friend. Such is life. She didn’t seem to mind.

Katarina is from Finland, and she now runs a B&B on Bere Lane in Glastonbury; hence her keen interest in the ‘Tourist Trail’ and, in the words used on the petition, our ‘conservation area’. She felt very unhappy about the way she and others from Lighten the Load had been treated once their campaign had been incorporated into one of the Town Council’s sub-committees. In particular, she and her group had put enormous effort into collecting signatures for their petition and the committee had made no use of it. All those sheets of signatures are still sitting on a shelf in her office at home. After a year or so of this kind of thing she’d become disillusioned and she’d withdrawn to get on with her life.

It’s a sad story, but she seemed happy to have someone taking an interest and being prepared to listen to her. I felt that the petition was still a positive possibility – and anyway needed honouring. It could still be presented to the County Council, perhaps as part of something theatrical and fun designed to catch media attention. That would be the real point, not the number of signatures, and the A361 committee does not seem blessed with much imagination when it comes to that kind of thing. Anyway, it is important in telling the story of how we got to be where we are at present. The committee is still going, but now seems to be more a part of the problem than the solution. What happened is worth looking at in detail.

Timeline

In October 2014 Katarina attended an MP’s surgery in Cheddar; this was during the time of David Cameron’s coalition government and she wanted to ask the constituency’s Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt for help. “She was sympathetic but did not get back to me. I know she eventually met with Denise Abbott [Liberal Democrat candidate for Glastonbury Town Council] during the Town Council elections in early 2015.” In November 2014 Katarina spoke to Glastonbury Town Council from the public gallery, “to gauge the level of support for the issue”.  Mayor Jim Barron “was encouraging and got behind us”. That month the campaign website and online petition were launched. (1)

In January 2015 Jim Barron accompanied Katarina and a group of residents to speak at the Cabinet meeting at Mendip District Council. “We were told Harvey Siggs would be chairing it. Siggs was also Head of Highways [at Somerset County Council] at the time; we felt he was the very person we wished to address. Siggs reacted with visible irritation, like a grumpy teenager. He declared that he was not going to hear us out and removed himself from the table, handing it to his deputy. Siggs was brusque and frankly, rude. He showed no sympathy and was, together with other Councillors, discourteous also towards [Glastonbury] Councillor John Brunsdon, who gave a short history of the “sad saga” of the traffic problems on the A361.

“We never heard a word from Mendip afterwards, no comment whatsoever. We had imagined we were being helpful citizens for bringing the dangers on the A361 to the attention of the authorities!” Later that month a paper version of the petition was launched in Glastonbury, and in May “We went out as a group during the Glastonbury Road Run and got hundreds of signatures that day.”

February 2015: A larger group attended the full Council meeting at County Hall in Taunton, again addressing Siggs as Head of Highways. “He delivered his pre-prepared short speech of why they were not going to change the freight route designation or re-route any HGVs, ‘as it would increase problems in other areas’. This same paragraph has since been offered in response to a host of complaints, both to residents, to the A361 committee, to anyone bringing the issue up.” Terry Napper [Conservative County Councillor for Glastonbury & Street] spoke at the meeting to say there could be no re-routing as it would be uneconomic and detrimental to the haulage companies, unapologetically ignoring the interests of most Glastonbury residents. Alan Gloak [Liberal Democrat County Councillor] spoke in support of the Glastonbury delegation, though whilst some felt genuinely supported others saw him as merely ‘going through the motions’ and expecting nothing as a result.

An A361 Working Group was convened by the Town Council in March. The group included Jim Barron and five other Councillors, together with eight community members – residents living along the freight route (Chilkwell Street and Bere Lane), and members of the campaign group, at that time called ‘Bypass Glastonbury’. With the intention of asking for a Traffic Restriction Order (TRO) to stop heavy lorries coming through the town, “as was done [successfully] in Bruton and Langport”. County Councillor Terry Napper was asked to investigate and report on traffic over 7½ tonnes, and the “public traffic protest group” was encouraged to produce as much evidence as possible of vehicles over 7½ tonnes using the route, “including visual, the more dramatic the photographs the better”. At the same time they were also asked to help get the public in to the forthcoming town meeting, when the issue of heavy traffic would be a major item on the agenda. “We need a full house.” (2) The group delivered handsomely on both requests.

April 2015: By then the campaign was generating a lot of press coverage. “People were talking about it and writing to the papers”. Jim Barron was able to arrange a radio interview with BBC Somerset. Quarry lorries heading for Hinkley Point were a particularly contentious part of the issue, and at the April Town Council meeting it was reported that “EDF will confirm whether money from the mitigation fund could be paid to contractors to offset the extra costs incurred should they be re-routed”. (3) However, no confirmation or any response at all came from EDF. Mendip District Council, for reasons that have never been adequately explained, is not represented on the EDF Transport Review Group (whilst all the other affected local authorities are); it is this group that deals with requests to the ‘Hinkley Point C Community Impact Mitigation Fund’.

May 2015: A new on-line petition was launched in the Town Hall during the annual Town Meeting. “Many Town Councillors attended in support and it was a great turnout with the room full of residents – however, the press failed to turn up in spite of being invited.”

The campaign name had been changed from ‘Bypass Glastonbury’ to ‘Lighten the Load’. A newsletter under this banner was produced at the beginning of May, explaining that “We never wanted a bypass in anyone’s back yard. We only ever meant we wanted the lorries to bypass our town”. The newsletter made it clear that “a tiny group of residents” was running out of energy to keep the campaign going. Also included was a very good summary of the arguments against using the A361 as a ‘thoroughfare’ for heavy lorries: “The powers that designated this a county freight route many decades ago are refusing to see the situation has evolved beyond sustainable. They have actually stated they put haulage businesses first and couldn’t possibly send any HGVs ‘the long way around’.” (4).

Jim Barron had lost his seat on the Town Council after a successful local election campaign for the Green Party. One of the last things he requested was for a committee to be set up to look at ways of dealing with the problem of heavy traffic. Jim Barron has been criticised for his right-wing views, but in Lighten the Load’s experience he was, at least until 2018, “the only Mayor who openly supported the re-routing of HGVs and the cause of dealing with the traffic.”  Ironically, this was in contrast to the muted stance taken by the Greens, none of whose subsequent mayors have been prepared to “stick their necks out” and make a fuss in public.

June 2015: The A361 working party had not yet been formally constituted as a Committee of the Town Council, but met at the Town Hall on June 16th to make a start on its deliberations. Seven Town Councillors were present (with apologies from four more), as were six members of the public including Lighten the Load members and a representative from Pilton. Two of the Councillors – Denise Abbott and Lindsay MacDougall – had recently been elected, and four more were added to the committee compared to the working group that had met in March. Councillor Abbott was now elected Chair, and would ensure at the July Town Council meeting that the committee’s constitutional basis was sound. (5)

Photo: Lighten the Load.

A361 Committee

The June 2015 meeting was convened with a sense of enthusiasm born, no doubt, from a conviction amongst both Councillors and non-councillors that their cause was just. Their main short-term objective was a presentation to be made to the County Council. This would include a petition with at least 5,000 signatures (which number would ensure a full debate at the County Council), evidence including photographs, traffic numbers, and an indication of alternative routes already used whenever the A361 is closed due to road works. Decibel tests, vibration tests, a lorry count, pedestrian count and air quality statistics were all to be included. Various councillors and volunteers took on the tasks of gathering contributions towards all this evidence. (6)

One committee member who took on this need to gather evidence with particular diligence and enthusiasm was Hugh Sharp. He was a retired doctor who had always been well known and well liked in the town, and who had been a Liberal Democrat Town Councillor for more than 30 years. He had stepped down from that position at the local elections the previous May, since he and his wife planned to move away from Glastonbury once they had sold their house in Coursing Batch. In the mean time he continued to attend meetings of the A361 committee. In the early days he was a mainstay of the committee, and he is remembered as having a particularly good memory for road classification numbers, so that he could reel off alternative routes with ease.

He initiated a brief survey of the A361 through the residential areas of Glastonbury. This resulted in a ‘statement of facts’ concerning the one mile stretch of road from the junction with Ashwell Lane at the top of Coursing Batch, through Chilkwell Street, Bere Lane and Fisher’s Hill, and along the Street Road as far as the Tor Sports and Leisure Centre. The facts it contained all show the road to be unsuitable as an HGV route, the principal one being the narrow width of the road: “29 measurements were taken from Ashwell Lane to the end of Bere Lane. They varied from approximately 17½ feet to 23½ feet; 17 were less than 20 feet. The narrowest points were [at] the top of Coursing Batch; [further down] between Cinnamon Lane and Chalice Well; opposite the Rifleman’s Arms; and two lengths along Bere Lane.” (7)

A rough count showed that there are 199 houses and flats immediately adjacent to the A361, including 14 B&Bs; (8) 99 properties have private drives leading directly onto the main road. There are also 13 road junctions along the one-mile route, two steep hills, two stretches of road with awkward sharp bends, and two mini-roundabouts. Most of the route comes within the Glastonbury conservation area, and Glastonbury is an internationally famous tourist destination; many thousands walk along Chilkwell Street to the Chalice Well gardens, tens of thousands walk along Chilkwell Street to climb Glastonbury Tor. The pavement in this area is particularly narrow and dangerous for the many visiting groups of children. Somerset Rural Life Museum in Bere lane also attracts many visitors.

The committee’s presentation was intended to focus particularly on the importance of tourism: “Local economics have changed. Glastonbury has ceased to be a manufacturing town and its economy is now largely based on tourism … The tone of the meeting changed particularly when visuals were shown of HGVs moving through the ‘pinch point’ at the junction with Well House Lane while pedestrians walked along a narrow pavement next to a high stone wall.” It was agreed that “we should now assemble the evidence to make our case”, and that “a presentation to a Conservative-led County Council would be best made by a Conservative County Councillor, Terry Napper, supported by our Conservative MP, James Heappey”. Denise Abbot undertook to arrange a meeting with James Heappey. (9)

The next meeting, held in August, was indeed attended by the MP. The Town Council had received a standard letter from David Fothergill, the portfolio holder for Highways, claiming (once again) that the A361 is currently the best route available and that to alter it would impact other communities. Mr Heappey agreed to approach Somerset County Council on the committee’s behalf. He suggested that the Highways Department may not have the money to carry out a traffic survey so that “it may be prudent” for the committee to commission its own; and that the majority of names on the petition would need to be local, “so that it cannot be undermined by County Hall”. He agreed to walk the A361 route with committee members on September 18th, at 8.15 in the morning. (10)

This resulted in some publicity in the Central Somerset Gazette, but none of Mr Heappey’s suggestions or promises produced concrete results. One example is that he simply passed on to the committee EDF’s claim that no lorries bound for Hinkley Point were using the A361 through Glastonbury, although it had been noted that “Hanson HGVs are frequently observed using the route”. (11) He did eventually follow this up, but then passed responsibility back to the County Council. It emerged later that Hanson’s lorries from Whatley Quarry stop and sign in at EDF’s Freight Management Centre at Junction 23 on the M5, and that until that point they are not ‘officially’ bound for Hinkley Point. This flagrant sleight-of-hand was uncovered by CPRE, however, and not by the MP.

One of Hanson’s six-axle trucks entering Chilkwell Street.
Photo: Bruce Garrard

Realpolitik

Inevitably perhaps, as the enormous amount of work required – all unpaid – became clear, and the political inertia that the committee faced gradually wore the initial enthusiasm down, the tone of the meetings changed. The unfairness of the situation, the lack of a level playing field, was never mentioned in the minutes but must have been felt by all. The committee never gave up, but the situation gradually grew less hopeful. The presentation as planned in June 2015 was never made.

County Councillor Alan Gloak did continue to bring up the A361 issue with the County Council. He presented questions about it on at least two occasions, but without any positive outcome. The committee had decided to invite both County Councillors to join the committee; however, Alan Gloak’s partner had become seriously ill and it was only Conservative Terry Napper who was able to attend. He had to be reminded on occasion that he was there as a representative of the people of Glastonbury, and not of the County Council. Lighten the Load even suspected that he was acting as a ‘spy’ – feeding information to the County Council which was then able to pre-empt the committee by issuing advisory statements, effectively telling the committee what to do and what not to do. (12)

John Roberts, a former traffic engineer now working for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was approached to undertake an ‘origin and destination’ traffic survey to determine the number of HGVs travelling through Glastonbury, as opposed to those making local deliveries. This was still being discussed two years later without having been actioned. The committee agreed to “challenge the County Council with regard to … [its stated transport policy] … which is ‘to help move freight around the county as efficiently as possible without imposing inappropriate costs on business, commerce, residents or others (including the impact on quality of life, the environment, climate change and safety)’. The committee is not happy that these criteria have been met in relation to the A361 through Glastonbury”. (13) No effective challenge was ever made.

Lighten the Load’s proposal to ask for a Traffic Restriction Order and a 7½ tonne weight limit with exemptions for local hauliers – as had been agreed for Bruton and Langport – was deferred or discussed briefly at meeting after meeting; in the face of opposition from the police and the County Council, it was never agreed by the committee as an objective. John Roberts pointed out that it would be possible for the Town Council to apply for a TRO on its own account, but that this would involve paying legal costs. (14) It never happened.

Lindsay MacDougall was able to initiate air pollution (nitrogen dioxide) tests, to organise traffic surveys on Chilkwell Street, and to research the political reality of putting a 20 mph zone in place, though none of these initiatives ever came to anything. Town Councillors on the committee agreed to take the petition from door to door in order to collect sufficient ‘local’ signatures, but never undertook the task systematically. Most in fact did nothing about this at all, though there were plenty of petty quibbles about the wording.

As the pressure grew through a lack of actual results, different groups within the committee tended to become tetchy with each other. In particular members of Lighten the Load became increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress, at the same time as feeling that Denise Abbott was “choosing to operate behind closed doors. We were not allowed to discuss committee affairs outside of meetings and I was excluded from any relevant email correspondence in between meetings.”

Of course this was never the committee’s official policy, and certainly did not appear in the minutes; nevertheless a culture of misplaced ‘loyalty’ may well have been operating in this way. If so, it would clearly have contravened the Council’s Code of Conduct. (15) Other committee members took the view that since the meetings are open to the public there can be no harm in talking about the committee’s business, or even showing others the minutes. All the same, the Chairperson’s apparently defensive behaviour – combined, perhaps, with undisguised annoyance –  was experienced as a form of covert bullying.

As a result the Lighten the Load members dropped out one by one, to be replaced, apparently, by members of the Town Council – though this too was never agreed formally until the town meeting the following May. The result was a gradual shift in the make-up of the committee, and a gradual blurring of identity between the committee and the Town Council itself. On the Town Council’s website, the community members of the committee have never been listed at all; at one meeting it was stated that they do not have a vote, although it had been agreed by the Town Council when the committee had first been constituted that they should.

Whether or not there was untoward pressure put on some people, it was the dead weight of bureaucratic procedure that seemed to be the greatest problem. A telling moment occurred when Councillor Emma George, speaking in her capacity as Chair of the Town Council’s Communications Committee, said that “it is imperative that members of the A361 committee distinguish between their actions as individuals, as opposed to representatives of the committee, when dealing with the press or other organisations”. (16) What this meant in practice was that any proposed communication with the press arising from the committee’s business should be presented first to a meeting of the full Council, then written by the Communications Committee and cleared by the Mayor and the Town Clerk before release. (17)

At the same time, Somerset County Council  “were appalling in their lack of response” to the committee’s efforts to communicate about the traffic issues. Katarina suggested taking a complaint about the County Council to the Local Government Ombudsman, for its failure to listen, for its failure to make Glastonbury safe, and for failing to engage with the community’s concerns. (18) James Heappey advised that this could be a good way to proceed, though an official complaint would have to be made to the County Council first, and their complaints procedure followed through. Their complaints procedure is dauntingly long and convoluted.

Photo: John Swift

Reduction in Community Involvement

In February 2016 Katarina Sonntag was minuted as stating that “the momentum of the campaign has been lost”. She later said that with hindsight she should have tried to revive the community group separate from the committee, so as to keep the pressure on the County Council. “I could not understand how they did not see that by cutting off the community and the legs of the road campaign, they were in fact assisting Somerset County Council to keep their rigid grip on the status quo.” (19)

The committee, however, had decided that rather than encouraging grass-roots involvement “it has gone as far as it can with the County Council and Highways” and now needed to rely on help from the MP. He was to be invited to another meeting “as soon as possible”. (20) It is difficult to tell whether this shift in focus was engineered deliberately or whether it was an unconscious result of the committee’s collective mindset. The Chair, Councillor Abbott, is of course a retired civil servant.

James Heappey arrived at the meeting on April 21st and informed the committee that “he had launched his campaign to ease access to Mendip from the M5 by bypassing Ashcott, Walton and Glastonbury”. This was “in order to significantly change the Mendip economy by making Wells, Shepton Mallet etc 15-20 minutes nearer to the motorway. This in turn will improve road safety … He had started the process and was bidding for funds for an economic viability study.” (21) The drive from Glastonbury to the M5 takes only 20 minutes or so as it is, so this ‘significant change to the Mendip economy’ was a little ambitious. More relevant perhaps is the way of thinking that the suggestion reveals.

Details of Mr Heappey’s ‘campaign’ and its implications would gradually emerge. For now, it was made clear that no road scheme could be expected for at least ten years and committee members pointed out that “although it is good to hear that there is a long term strategy, there is a real immediate problem”.  Former Councillor Hugh Sharp said that there had certainly been an increase in heavy traffic over the previous 18 months, which the County Council had denied. It transpired that the A361 had not had a physical traffic count since 2008, and that “The Department [of Transport] are simply applying an algorithm to the last count to produce data for the subsequent years, therefore not giving a true picture.” (22)

John Osman, David Fothergill and Alyn Jones of Somerset County Council finally agreed to a site visit that was scheduled for August 17th 2016. The committee made elaborate preparations for a walk from the Town Hall all the way past the Chalice Well and up to Ashwell Lane, with a minibus laid on to return everyone to the Town Hall afterwards for a discussion of the issues highlighted during the walk. Controversially this was arranged during the school holidays when there is reduced road use. In the end a half-hearted attempt at visiting Chilkwell Street was made on foot before the County Council delegation left without returning to the Town Hall. A response to questions asked by committee members was promised “within a week or two” but was not forthcoming.

Following this, an official complaint was finally made to Somerset County Council in November, to which no response was received. After three months the complaint was sent direct to the Local Government Ombudsman, in February 2017. A reply from the LGO’s office was received by the Town Clerk in March, to say that, “You will see from the enclosed statement [that] I have decided we cannot consider it further.” The reason was that Town Councils have no right of redress through the Ombudsman scheme, though the committee did not persist by encouraging a non-council member and Chilkwell Street or Bere Lane resident to make a fresh complaint.

Katarina Sonntag, thoroughly disillusioned, had attended her last meeting of the A361 committee on July 7th 2016, before the County Council’s reluctant visit or the abortive complaint to the LGO. By that time the number of Town Councillors listed as being members had risen to thirteen, although on one occasion only four actually turned up. At the same time there were now only two community members left – including Hugh Sharp, who was soon to be moving away from Glastonbury. He was replaced in early 2017 by the County Council’s representative Terry Napper, who by then was also a member of Glastonbury Town Council.

MP James Heappey with residents in Walton

Central Government Funding

The A361 committee met on March 28th 2017 to hear that the Town Clerk had been given the wrong advice from the Ombudsman’s office, which had resulted in their complaint not being taken up. At the same time, “Interestingly, she received an email today to arrange a telephone call to discuss traffic improvements and data”. The committee therefore spent most of the meeting reviewing their requests for minor traffic improvements, whilst only towards the end was the matter of a potential bypass raised.

Councillor Abbott introduced the subject by reading out an email that she had received from James Heappey on the subject. This followed an announcement in the budget that more money would be made available for road building, including the possibility of funding for bypasses. In response to this “Councillor Tucker said that for the future, the town needs to agree a route for a bypass, e.g. the ‘outer relief road’ from Tin Bridge to West Pennard.” In response, Councillor Cottle said that to [help] fund the relief road approximately 1,000 houses would be necessary. As this would have environmental implications he doubted whether planning permission would be given.” (23)

By July Liz Leyshon, the new Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Glastonbury & Street, had been invited to join the committee. She reported on a brief meeting with James Heappey when she had discussed the proposed improvements to the A361 and A39. “They both agreed that should these improvements come to fruition they will relieve other roads” (24) – in other words they would result in an overall increase in traffic coming past Glastonbury.

The following month, on August 24th, the committee meeting was attended by James Heappey, to whom Councillors Abbott and Leyshon had submitted questions in advance. These questions had not been discussed at the previous committee meeting. They concerned how the ‘Somerset Freeway’ (as Mr Heappey referred to his proposal) would relate to government provision by means of the ‘bypass fund’. Although much was said at the meeting, there was a remarkable lack of clarity on that particular point.

It is worth noting at this juncture that the committee now consisted of ten members of the Town Council (several having droppped out) and one remaining community member. Minutes were not posted on the Town Council website and copies could only be obtained from members of the committee who believed that keeping interested members of the public informed is important. Whether intentionally or otherwise, both transparency and accountability had been consistently eroded during the two years since the committee had been established.

James Heappey arrived at the meeting, just a little late, and enlarged on what had already been said to Councillor Leyshon the previous month. He particularly stressed the importance of “the project’s contribution to regional economic benefits including Mendip, South BANES and West Wiltshire, and how it would stimulate significant economic growth locally”. (25) This was clearly not much about relieving traffic congestion on the A361 through Glastonbury, except as a by-product of a major regional economic development project.

In answer to a question about what contribution the committee could most usefully make to all this, Mr Heappey “emphasised very strongly that the role of the committee would be to ensure that the community of Glastonbury understood the economic basis of the bypass application and demonstrated local commitment to it. This could have implications for the zoning of land for industrial and residential development and resultant potential growth of the local infrastructure. All aspects of the proposed project should ideally be included in the Neighbourhood Plan consultations with the community concerning jobs, homes and preferred routes”. (26)

Naively, the committee asked the MP to confirm that his new position as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport would not (adversely) affect his ability to support the project. The idea that he was actually there on Chris Grayling’s business, and that he was canvassing the committee for their support rather than the other way around, does not seem to have even crossed their minds.


Notes and References

  1. Katarina Sonntag, Lighten the Load timeline, April 2018. This section is largely based on Katarina’s summary of events.
  2. ‘Major Points’ (rather than detailed minutes) noted at A361 Road Meeting, 12 March 2015.
  3. Glastonbury Town Council minutes, 14 April 2015.
  4. Lighten the Load newsletter, 2 May 2015.
  5. See Glastonbury Town Council minutes, 14 July 2015. It was resolved first to allow non-council members of committees to have voting rights at committee meetings, and that they would need to abide by the Council’s Code of Conduct when in meetings. It was then further resolved that the A361 Working Party be converted to a Committee of the Town Council.
  6. A361 working group minutes, 16 June 2015.
  7. Hugh Sharp and others, Survey of A361 route through residential Glastonbury carried out for the A361 committee, 2015.
  8. Lighten the Load’s estimate was 320 households including properties on lanes that lead onto the A361, using an online postcode finder, and 25 accommodation businesses including ‘unofficial’ B&Bs and holiday cottages that they found on Airbnb, Homeaway or Tripadvisor.
  9. A361 working group minutes, 16 June 2015.
  10. A361 committee minutes, 26 August 2015.
  11. Letter from Glastonbury’s Town Clerk to James Heappey MP, 23 November 2015.
  12. Personal communication from Katarina Sonntag, July 2018.
  13. A361 committee minutes, 9 November 2015.
  14. A361 committee minutes, 7 December 2015.
  15. Glastonbury Town Council, Code of Conduct for Members, Appendix 1: “Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.”
  16. A361 committee minutes, 7 December 2015.
  17. Town Council minutes, 8 December 2015. The Communications Committee had originally been proposed the previous July in order to “manage all public communications by the Council, in the interests of raising public awareness of Council activity and encouraging wider public participation”.
  18. Katarina Sonntag, Lighten the Load timeline, April 2018.
  19. Personal communication from Katarina Sonntag, June 2018.
  20. A361 committee minutes, 25 February 2016.
  21. James Heappey MP, A361 committee minutes, 21 April 2016.
  22. John Roberts of CPRE, A361 committee minutes, 7 July 2016.
  23. A361 committee minutes, 28 March 2017.
  24. A361 committee minutes, 18 July 2017.
  25. James Heappey MP, A361 committee minutes, 24 August 2017.
  26. Ditto. The Neighbourhood Plan consultations were in preparation by a different committee, with a wide-ranging questionnaire due to be delivered to all households in Glastonbury in January 2018.