Ian Oxford, who lives in Entry Hill, is a long-standing opponent of a new bus lane at Wellsway and had been trying to find out whether it was going to be in place 24 hours a day or just 7am to 7pm, as previously promised.
He had sent a number of emails to local councillors and officers about the issue, pointing out that his local Liberal Democrat representatives had campaigned during last year's election against the bus lane, but that now the party was in power at the Guildhall, it was carrying on with the work.Perfectly reasonable, you’d think?
When his correspondence was forwarded on to Councillor Roger Symonds, Bath and North East Somerset Council's cabinet member for transport, Mr Oxford was shocked to get an email which he regarded as personal abuse rather than an answer to his question.Ahhh, councillors and technology! It rarely ends well, does it?
In an email to Mr Oxford, Mr Symonds wrote: "I have to say that your comments are very unhelpful. This is the first that I have heard of this issue and I have asked officers for clarification.
"This is part of my job, but I do not have to read or listen to childish political points-scoring such as your comment 'is this another broken Liberal Democrat promise?'."Oooooh, touchy! And guaranteed to be taken straight to the local newspaper...
Mr Symonds defended his position and said he accepted that there were parts of the scheme the Lib Dems were not happy with, but that they had to compromise.Just as your leader has had to compromise, I guess?
He said: "It wasn't possible to completely get rid of the transport system but it was possible to make changes. That is what we have done here; we have compromised by finding more parking spaces in that area. It had gone too far for us to completely stop it."So, why even try? I mean, it's not like anyone ever elected you to...
Mr Symonds said he took objection to Mr Oxford's claim that this was "another broken Lib Dem promise", because this was just one issue where they had failed to keep to an election pledge.Ahhh, yes, but you see, Roger, it's not all about you. When the letter mentioned broken election promises, I suspect it was meant in the wider sense of the whole sad sorry mess that is the Lib Dems on a national scale.
But well done for upholding the image of the Lib Dems as being prickly, pompous people out of their depth even in the shallow end of politics...