LETTER: Public consultation over homes plans is a sham

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Hasn’t it been refreshing to see so many letters from local councillors recently?

We have had Ken Hind defending Nigel Evans’ inability to achieve anything on behalf of his constituents. Coun. Hill playing the numbers game (badly) and a rant from Ged Mirfin on national politics.

These three would be better employed concentrating their efforts on local politics and serving the needs of the people that elected them. Instead they seem obsessed with articles advertising a small political party called UKIP.

What a shame none of them saw fit to explain why Ribble Valley Borough Council caused the cancellation of the Civic Society’s Question Time. I believe this event was organised for our local community to receive answers, from a panel of five people, on recent new development applications and other planning issues. Nigel Evans and myself accepted the invitation, but three other connected with RVBC, refused the invite which led to “Question Time” being cancelled.

Head of Planning John Macholc, Head of Regeneration and Housing Colin Hirst, plus local Conservative Vice-Chairman Coun. Terry Hill, who is also Chairman of the Planning Committee, all declined the Civic Society’s invitation. What a shame – as Question Time was also intended as a fund-raiser for St Mary’s Church Spire.

With a 60% refusal rate there was little option but to cancel the event. This was an opportunity for RVBC to advance residents’ knowledge of issues and problems currently being encountered by local planners. Instead they have turned it into a closed shop and refuse to dispense up-to-date information. The Civic Society seeks to “advance common interests”. Currently there is no interest more common than the over-development of Clitheroe. The real question is why do the people with answers dislike sharing them with the public?

On behalf of Clitheroe Residents Action Group (CRAG) I applaud the Civic Society’s effort to arrange this community event and remind all public servants that Ribble Valley residents pay your wages. Consultation was a sham and now you insist on keeping local residents in the dark.

Biting the hand that feeds you is never a good idea!


CRAG Chairman