Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Local Plan Debate (1): Mayor Breaks Ranks

Cllr Kyrle said No but Cllr Welsh said Yes 
Lib Dem keeps election promise!

The only Hedge End councillor to oppose the Lib Dem bulldozer and vote against the Pre-Submission Draft of the Eastleigh Local Plan was the multi-tasking Hedge End Town Councillor, Botley Parish Councillor, Botley Borough Councillor, County Councillor, Head of Chris Huhne MP's Office and Mayor of Eastleigh,  Rupert Kyrle.

Unlike other "dual-hatted" Lib Dem town councillors who also represent Hamble, Bursledon (Cllr House), and West End (Cllrs Clarke and Tennent), parishes which are being asked to sacrifice less than their fair share of green fields to the developers, Cllr Kyrle's only elected power base is in Hedge End and Botley.

With County Council elections next year, it would have been suicidal for the Lib Dems to have the County Councillor for Botley and Hedge End vote in favour of 3,500 new houses in his patch. 

Rupert has spoken against the Plan on several occasions, but his voting against the Lib Dem majority at full council does raise the question why Hedge End's Borough Councillors did not take the opportunity to vote with him and keep their recent election promises.

Broken Election Promise 2011
Cllrs Jenny Hughes, Derek Pretty, Jane Welsh and Mick Wheatley have all been elected on promises to "Save our Countryside", and "Stand up Against more Building and Traffic" in the last two years, yet along with Cllr Peter Hughes, they dutifuly trooped in behind Lib Dem leader Keith House and fellow cabinet member Louise Bloom to vote for a plan which does just the opposite for Hedge End.

It was particularly irritating for Hedge End residents in the public gallery that a succession of Lib Dem councillors from Bursledon, Fair Oak, Horton Heath and  West End spoke praising the Plan which protects green fields in their areas from development but not a single Hedge End councillor spoke up for the green fields of Hedge End and Botley.

As both Botley councillors were allowed to break ranks and vote against the Lib Dems' plans, electors in Hedge End will be asking themselves why their councillors failed to join them and merrily voted in favour of more building and traffic in our area.

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