Local Conservatives voted en masse to support the submission of their flawed Local Plan to Government inspectors at last week's Council Meeting. All opposition Councillors, Labour and LibDem, opposed the action, citing continued dissatisfaction with the lack of vision, and the lack of proper consultation by the Conservative elite.
Two questions from residents were heard, one from Will Davis of Panshanger People noting the huge number of submissions to the consultations that have been ignored by the Council, and one from Tom Darwall-Smith about the lack of due process in respect of the Symondshyde proposal. Both were treated to dismissive comments by the Executive Member Cllr Mandy Perkins that failed to answer the substantive points raised.
Lib Dem group leader Cllr Malcolm Cowan highlighted the lack of consideration of any alternatives by the Council, especially the proposal 10 years ago that we work with other Planning Authorities to build a new garden city in the north of Hertfordshire - "of course now they say there is insufficient time to do this, but what have they been doing for the last decade?" said Malcolm.
Commenting after the meeting Parliamentary candidate Nigel Quinton said:
"What I found most galling was the statement by one of the Tory Councillors that this was a challenge they did not want to have, that difficult decisions were required. What a terrible admission of failure!
"Having the opportunity to shape the future of our area is a privilege that many of us would love to lead. Sadly leadership in this sorry process has been totally lacking - just bullying by the Tory elite who have no time for anyone else's point of view.
"By failing to consult, to listen, to cooperate, and by relying completely on the developers and landowners to shape the alternatives, they have brought forward a plan that risks swamping our existing towns, whilst doing nothing for local infrastructure or preserving our environment.
"If they don't have the stomach for this they should resign and let someone else take over."