|Local Plan Debate Kicked into the Long Grass|
The new chair of the Town Council has promised that a special meeting in September of the Highways and Planning Committee will discuss the Draft Local Plan and the Town Council's response to it. But as a member of Eastleigh's cabinet, Cllr Bloom is well aware that this week's full meeting of Eastleigh Borough Council is voting on the version of the plan which will be submitted to the Government for approval, after which no major changes will be tolerated. In fact the Lib Dem leadership is so keen to rush through the decisions this month, that they have had to bring forward a hurriedly-arranged special meeting of the Council's one remaining scrutiny panel to review the Plan before it goes to cabinet and full council on Thursday.
Chandlers Ford Parish Council, which has only been in existence for two years, has had the self-confidence and sense of duty to its local parishioners to stand up against the Borough's plans. Yet Hedge End Town Council with over a hundred years of history and tradition has been choked and stifled by Lib Dem party discipline and the dominance of senior Lib Dem Borough Councillors who hold most of the positions of power in the Town Council.
Lib Dem Town Council "Trivial"
One of the many disappointed Hedge End residents who came to last Wednesday's meeting hoping to see some serious debate on issues of vital importance to local people has emailed me this response:
"Thanks for all your help and your efforts at the recent HETC - we were there and thought it was a sham.
It's not the first time we've thought this of a TC meeting and not surprised that few people come
along - the councillors seem more interested in talking about their own exploits and on 'trivial' matters than on critical decision impacting the community - guess they don't want the conflict?"
Where Have All the Lib Dems Gone?
Local Lib Dems certainly don't give the impression that they want to make informed decisions when they do finally consent to debating the Local Plan.
Eastleigh planning officers gave up their Monday evening this week for a seminar at the Civic Offices to explain the current status of the Local Plan and the next steps. This seminar was open to all Borough and Town Councillors, but attendance by Hedge End Lib Dems was frankly pitiful.
Only one of our seven Borough Councillors was there - Cllr Peter Hughes.
And apart from three dual-hatted councillors, Botley's Cllr Rupert Kyrle, and West End Cllrs Bruce Tennent and Dan Clarke, I was the only Town Councillor there.
Only 20% of Hedge End's elected Lib Dems think the Draft Local Plan of sufficient importance to give up two hours on a Monday evening to inform themselves about it.
Perhaps they are too embarrassed by their broken election promises to stand up for our countryside and oppose more building and traffic in Botley and Hedge End.
|Broken Election Promise 2011|
|Broken Election Promise 2012|