COUNTY councillors have called in a decision affecting Hereford’s proposed bypass over fears there is no approved business case for the scheme.

Seven councillors have requested that Herefordshire Council’s general scrutiny committee should revisit a decision taken by infrastructure chief Philip Price.

The cabinet member decided on March 11 this year that economy and place director Richard Ball should be authorised to take all necessary steps to progress detailed design for the Hereford Transport Package.

This decision allows the director to commission external professional advisors to inform future decisions on the scheme to a maximum further cost of £3.65m to deliver.

It’s Our County councillor Anthony Powers said it was a process that has been wrongly delegated to officers.

“The decision was made on the last working day before purdah and it relates to a political position,” he said.

“It should not be implemented until after the elections.”

Green Party councillor Jenny Bartlett said it would be better to make such decisions after the upcoming local elections.

“It is a huge decision to be made in purdah and it clashes with the guidelines we work with,” she said.

“I think the most transparent thing to do would be to wait until after May 2.

“We feel it is a little bit too rushed and we need to make sure it is done properly.”

Councillors Liz Harvey, Jenny Bartlett, Ellie Chowns, Felicity Norman, Anthony Powers, Alan Seldon and Andrew Warmington were those that called in the decision.

Councillor Price said he was disappointed with the call-in but stressed the council had done everything correctly.

“People find ulterior motives to call the decision in so they can fully debate it,” he said.

“The decision in question relates to the £3.5m approved to progress the Hereford Transport Package but I imagine the debate will focus on all sorts of details which aren’t relevant such as the active travel measures which feature in the South Wye Transport Package.

“We are getting into the expensive end of the project and we need to progress the work.

“There is nothing untoward going on, everything is being done correctly.”

The committee will debate the issues at 10.15am tomorrow (March 29) at Shirehall.