Thursday, 28 April 2011

Greenbelt letters

Also available in pork!
Following the Lib Dem Manifesto Launch I wrote to the Examiner pointing to the contradiction between Coalition Policy on development and the professed desire of Lib Dems and Conservatives to want to protect the Green belt. Here's the trail of letters to date with a response from Conservative Councillor Christine Smith who seeks to foam at the mouth at the mention of the Green Party or me in particular.

Green view of Lib Dems - Examiner - 26/4/11

I SEE the Lib Dems’ claim to aim to protect the green belt in their manifesto.

This at odds with Lib Dem and Conservative Policy in government where brownfield quotas for building land are being abolished, putting more pressure on the green belt.

They also claim to want to protect services for the vulnerable, having voted with the Conservatives for huge cuts to these services in Kirklees.

People are not stupid and the Lib Dems and Conservatives should not only be careful in their public statements, but should also aim to be credible in their stated policies and not try to mislead people. Otherwise the view many people have of them following the tuition fees fiasco will be reinforced and politics as a whole will be further devalued in the minds of the general public.

Clr Andrew Cooper

Leader, Green Party Kirklees Council

We protect green belt - Examiner - 27/4 /11 

I SEE that Clr Andrew Cooper is once again castigating the Lib Dems and Conservatives over green belt policies (Examiner Mailbag, Tuesday April 26).

One of the most effective ways of protecting the green belt is by sitting on Huddersfield Planning Committee or the Heavy Woollen Planning Sub-Committee where decisions about green belt and brownfield sites are made. Yet no Green Party councillor will sit on any planning committee.

So, when Clr Cooper talks about responsibilities, policies and green belt, he needs to look to his own party first, particularly here in Kirklees.

Perhaps the electorate, whom he purports to represent, should start to ask questions as to why the Greens will not sit on any planning committees where decisions concerning green belt are made.

Clr Christine Smith

Chair of Planning and Highways Committee, Kirklees Council

And my response...............

Councillor Christine Smith , Conservative , criticises the Green Party for not having a Councillor on Planning Committee. As she well knows despite not being a member of Planning Committee I have been a regular attender of it, referring applications for decision and representing views of constituents. I was the only Councillor who was not a member of Planning Committee to make representations regarding the Tesco’s Development and the proposed replacement Hotel on Castle Hill. The real scandal here is that the larger parties rarely send anyone to Planning Committee to represent the views of constituents. As Cllr Christine Smith also knows being a member of Planning Committee restricts the ability of its members to represent local people effectively as they are bound by planning protocols. Ironically you can be a much more effective at protecting your local green spaces by not being a member of the Planning Committee and she knows this as someone who has voted for development on Lindley Moor.

I do notice however that in her criticism of me and the Green Party she does not contradict my view, and the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England’s view, that the latest Coalition Planning Policy statement made during the budget is a significant threat to our green belt and greenfield sites. I would be really interested in her role as Chair of the Planning Committee how she responds to CPRE’s and my concerns.

Councillor Andrew Cooper

Green Party Leader – Kirklees Council

1 comment:

  1. Well explained Andrew. This is a bugbear of mine too and will be arguing the same case within the Labour Party.

    Scott Roy Blockley