Bereaved father's disappointment over local election leaflet

Thorold election leaflet
The leaflet was posted through Chris Thorold's door Credit: ITV Anglia/Thorold family

The father of a baby who died after a van hit his pram on the A10 in Cambridgeshire has expressed his disappointment at receiving a election leaflet showing politicians pictured next to the crash site.

Louis Thorold died at Waterbeach near Cambridge in January. His mum Rachael is still recovering from multiple injuries.

Since the collision Chris has campaigned for safety measures to be introduced - including speed monitoring equipment and plans to install a segregated pathway.

Anna Bradnam and Paul Bearpark in the Liberal Democrat election leaflet Credit: Chris Thorold

But he was left angered when an election leaflet came through his letterbox showing county councillor for Milton and Waterbeach, Anna Bradnam and Paul Bearpark, a Lib Dem candidate standing for election to South Cambridgeshire District council, standing next to the crash site.

The leaflet talks about Cllr Bradnam's efforts to push for safety improvements following the tragedy.

It says: "Following the recent tragic accident on the A10, Cllr Anna Bradnam has called for swifter action from the county council."

“Anna called for active speed camera for this section of road, which saw another fatal accident in May 2020. Together with the family, Anna submitted a written question to the county council requesting swifter, more positive action and consideration of a pedestrian crossing"

Councillor Anna Bradnam Credit: South Cambs District Council

Mr Thorold said: "It claims credit for something they literally had no hand in. We invited her out of courtesy because she's our local councillor."

"It's easy to be angry, I was just disappointed again. You just look at it in disbelief, I expected better."

Councillor Bradnam said: “I am fully supportive of the aims of the Louis Thorold Foundation. It is doing impressive work, both to make the junction where the accident happened safer and to change the wider approach to designing roads to be safer for children and pedestrians."

Mr Thorold said he was aware of the leaflet before he received it, because there had been some outrage on a local facebook page, and as soon as it came through his letterbox he said he could understand why everyone was annoyed.

"I've got no issues with them, I just want them to issue an apology and a clarification. I spoke to someone from the Lib Dems who said 'I'm sorry you feel this way.'"

"They just couldn't apologise. They said they wouldn't put something in writing. I think they kind of saw it as an opportunity.

I'm not sure how they expected me to take it."

Chris Thorold at the site of the crash Credit: ITV Anglia

Councillor Bradnam continued: “I am very sorry for the hurt caused. This was unintentional. I understand that the leaflet could give the impression that I am attempting to take credit for Mr Thorold's efforts. However, my aim was simply to state my support. Mr Thorold’s campaign will be more successful if everyone gives their vocal backing to its aims."

“I have tried to support Mr Thorold as his County Councillor. I spoke to Highways officers two days after the accident about getting speed cameras installed. Since then, I have been taking every opportunity to reinforce Mr Thorold’s demands for swift and positive action, in a public question to the council and in ongoing discussions with officers.

“I felt it necessary to inform residents of Waterbeach of the action that I have been taking to support this important campaign - they would expect no less.”