I join Labour Group Leader, Cllr Howard Griffiths, in congratulating the local campaigners who have forced the Tory-led borough council administration at Erewash to shelve their ill-considered house building scheme.
There is a pressing need for new housing. However, it is neither sensible nor sensitive to ride rough shod over the views of existing residents. New homes must be spread throughout the borough; greenbelt must be protected; transport, health and school requirements should be paramount and wildlife sites safeguarded.
The scheme met none of these essential criteria.
However, what is also unacceptable is the Conservative administration’s unilateral cancellation of the January 26 council meeting when the topic was to be discussed – in front of local campaigners. Chris Corbett’s Conservatives are running scared from the electorate, by cancelling a meeting in this fashion. But urgent questions remain over wider matters of administration.
On becoming the Stanley Labour councillor in 2011, I requested a list of full council meetings and was given three contradictory sets of dates and times.
How difficult can it be to set out a simple year calendar, so that councillors can make forward arrangements?
I have been extremely pro-active in arranging monthly constituent surgeries and attending meetings of the parish council, but, like everybody else with jobs and families, I need reliable information to discharge my responsibilities. Now there is a further change to a meeting – and it seems that this is to shield Conservative councillors from public censure.
Erewash residents have been denied the right to witness democracy in action; the real business takes place behind closed doors at times to suit the Tory administration.
It’s a triumph of expediency over transparency and it’s just not good enough!
Cllr Linda McGraw (Stanley)