Having ignored the story when it was first reported, and again later, it’s probably no surprise that I don’t have strong views as to whether Swindon should or should not be part of the Wiltshire & Swindon Safety Camera Partnership. I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that gets caught speeding: if you break the law and get caught, tough. I do care about my money being used in the most effective way and like many I’m not convinced that cameras are as good a road safety measure as some would make out — but that doesn’t mean I want to get rid of all of them.
What has been most disappointing about all of this and has, I suspect, done nothing for the reputation of either Mr Bluh or Ms Snelgrove and her entourage, is the rapid descent into petty politicking. The willingness of Ms Snelgrove to distort the facts behind the current state of speed cameras in Swindon and the effects of their removal hardly befits someone accusing her opponents of ‘playing politics with lives’. (And who other than Ms Snelgrove could regard something as a stealth tax if money goes to local government but not a stealth tax whilst it goes to central government?)
The original motion at last November’s council meeting proposing withdrawal from the safety camera partnership was itself laden with party political point scoring. To respond in a similar, but worse, manner just helps to lower the already poor reputation that politicians, and Ms Snelgrove in particular, already have.