Monday, 8 April 2013
Out of date, out of touch
I had a leaflet from the English Democrat candidates for Whittlesey through my door today. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement.
Let me start with the most alarming contradiction in the leaflet. On the front page is a very carefully worded criticism of Fenland's planning committee decision of 23rd January to support the Sainsbury Supermarket in Whittlesey. I say it is carefully worded because technically it is a statement of facts, but it is done in a way that, it is clear to me, is meant to be critical in a way that allows the Candidate to deny that when challenged. One particular aspect is that they specifically highlight that members went against the officer recommendation (complete with the obligatory exclamation mark!). I could talk about that for hours, but what is important about that comment is what it could mean for the future.
We have two very significant planning issues to the North of Whittlesey at the moment, in particular interest has been shown in development on two plots that are very close to the flood plain. If the criticism inherent in their comments is anything to go by, the Goldspinks are happy for Officers to make whatever recommendations they see fit for those pieces of land and the planning committee to just nod them through. Personally, I would prefer a democratic input into the process and for Councillors to have the final say.
What else is interesting is the conflict between the comments about Supermarkets and the comment on the other side of the leaflet where the candidates say "you come first". We can only assume that planning matters are excluded from this statement because the message on the other side of the leaflet is that the views of Officers take precedence over those of Councillors and of the people they serve. I remind residents that the survey I carried out showed that 62% of residents supported the Sainsbury application and just 17% supported Tesco.
There are many, many other things that I would challenge about this leaflet, but the hypocrisy around the easy to use catch-all "you come first" accompanied by a criticism of others for doing exactly that has to ask serious questions. All I would say is before you consider voting English Democrat, look at my record and look at Ralph Butcher's record and look at our backgrounds. We have always fought a strong case for Whittlesey and have always represented our residents - that is the reason there has been a genuine decision by the County Council to build a bridge over Kings Dyke Crossing.
One final point. I am sure many restidents will be disappointed that the information being put through doors today is almost three weeks out of date, given that the Secretary of State made the decision not to call the Sainsbury applications in on 19th March.
Posted by Martin Curtis at 13:11