The County Council rejected Southern Water's proposals, but the company are appealing so villagers have until 3 April to register their continued opposition. No date has yet been announced for when the appeal will be heard.
Under these circumstances you'd expect villagers to use every possible resource available to them to campaign against the proposals, and indeed that is what they have tried to do with the much vaunted No 10 system of E-petitioning. The only problem is that their request to post a petition was rejected because it is "outside the remit or powers of the Prime Minister and Government". How ridiculous! The case has been referred to Ruth Kelly's office at the Department for Communities and Local Government, who was the last time I looked, in the Government.
For those who are interested, matters which ultimately put children in danger of being run over by a HGV lorry might be out of the remit of a No 10 E-petition, but petitions you can sign include:
- allowing the sale of elephants in UK pet shops
- replace the National Anthem with "Gold" by Spandau Ballet
- make banger racing an Olympic sport and
- recognise fetishism and sadomasochism as a sane sexual practice.
Obviously these are issues which tax the minds of parents and residents of Eccles far more than HGVs speeding through the village. Whoever recently called the brains behind the No 10 E-petition a "prat" was absolutely spot on in my opinion!
UPDATE: This evening I attended a packed public meeting held at Eccles school. The strength of opposition against these proposals is incredible. The residents are gearing up for a real fight to defend their village, and most of all protect their children from huge lorries speeding down a narrow lane towards the Treatment Works.