Susan Stellard’s letter would suggest that residents of Harborough district, who live outside of Market Harborough, have no right to participate in and hold to account the actions of Harborough District Council. Harborough District Councillors – and the clue is in the title – are there to serve the whole of the district of Harborough and not just the residents of Market Harborough.
The Parish of Claybrooke Magna lies on the western edge of Harborough district and is represented by its five democratically elected parish councillors, of which I am one and the chair.
It is our duty as elected representatives of the village to defend the interests of the residents. We are also fortunate to be part of a ward which returns an honourable district and county councillor and we do what we can to support. Therefore when the district council then decides to basically waste £500,000 of the district tax payers’ money and cannot rationally account for doing it, then it is challenged. Furthermore, if you look at the way business has been conducted by some district councillors with regard to the Core Strategy, it becomes very clear that the residents of Harborough district are being conned by their council.
If the actions surrounding the Core Strategy were legitimate, all the normal reasoning and evidence would be present and available to public scrutiny.
The fact is that it is not; consultation was announced and then withdrawn; Councillor Rook is on record stating “we have to do this review of our core strategy by March because a planning inspector told us to” which is untrue, because the Planning Inspectorate does not intervene in any council’s decisions; and that the spatial housing location plan was never completed as part of the Core Strategy, clearly shows that ulterior motives are at work.
When the huge hole in Harborough’s finances and the carrot of Housing Allocation grants being available from Government are also taken into consideration, it becomes clear to me that Harborough District Council binned the Core Strategy to enable many thousands more homes to be introduced into a new local plan, with the hope that they can then try and fill the hole in their mismanaged finances with housing allocation grant money.
All of which makes the final point regarding sticking up for many of the elected councillors somewhat challenging because they haven’t actually acted on behalf of the residents of Harborough district who were part of the original Core Strategy consultation process and elected them in the first place.
Dr Richard Fowler
and on behalf of,
Claybrooke Magna Parish Council