by Alan Dean on 29 April, 2015
I guess all parties at one time or another panic when elections loom and say things they might later regret. That may well be the case with a recent video starring Conservative council leader and Ashdon candidate, Howard Rolfe, and the parliamentary Tory candidate, Alan Haselhurst.
When we began the quest for a new Local Plan in January to replace the one discredited last December it was agreed that transparency, openness and objectivity would be the new watchwords to replace past practices such as private and secret meetings and members being whipped by cabinet members into agreeing their schemes. Even my request that we start off by agreeing a policy framework against which new development proposals would be evaluated was kicked into touch as risking pre-empting what areas should or should not be included in the Local Plan.
So the claim in the video that there will be no more development allocations to Dunmow and Saffron Walden if the Conservatives are returned to power on May 7th looks more like a pre-election inducement to voters than a commitment that is sure to be delivered. If not in Dunmow and Saffron Walden, where do the Tories have in mind?
The Herts and Essex Observer gave good coverage on-line to the issue yesterday. It includes my reactions in more detail.