I have great respect for both Cllrs Rhead and Bromley; they are very committed, hardworking and passionate councillors. On the other hand, I would have hoped for a more considered debate rather than insults offered by them. The invective is clearly a slur aimed not only at me but at the majority of councillors who care about the future of our area but disagree with their views.
Both councillors tell us that councillors who voted that the Local Plan should be put before the inspectorate are hypocrites and should “hang their heads in shame”. Cllr Bromley says she wants more time. Unfortunately, we are working within the constraints and rules of central government and I am afraid that time is running out. If we do not offer our Local Plan to the inspectorate soon, we will see unbridled development. None of us want to see that.
I agree with some of Cllr Rhead’s seven points of concern. On the other hand, he is also very aware that for some time, I have been disturbed by the lack of a coherent transport infrastructure strategy. Cllr Bromley likewise regularly complains about the state of affairs but does not offer any solutions. Indignantly, she declares from the sidelines that there is nothing to be done.
Cllrs Bromley and Rhead have chosen this opportunity to insult those whose judgment is contrary to theirs. Throwing bricks at people that you disagree with is not the best way to find solutions. Although directed at me personally, I feel their comments are aimed at the majority of councillors; councillors who thought long and hard before making their decision on the Local Plan. There is one thing that all of us agree on. We want the best for our district. We are now at the next stage in the lengthy Local Plan journey.
The government inspector will listen to all parties – councillors, officers, opponents to the plan and developers. This will be an exhaustive process. It will be the opportunity for the opponents of the plan to put their views.
Their opposition to the plan will be put to the test. Let us pause now and allow the Inspectorate to do their work.
Cllr Jerry Weber, Leamington Clarendon