As the parties position for the upcoming county council elections, Uttlesford Councillor for Newport Jeremy Rose writes in the papers this week to explain about how he hopes to influence housing development in Newport:
I just want to assure all residents of Newport that I am keenly aware of your concerns about the level of future development which might be authorised for our village.
I have exactly the same concerns and am representing your interests vigorously at every opportunity. The best way of doing this is not by asking you to sign petitions but through rational argument during Uttlesford Council deliberations.
Recently when Liberal Democrat councillors withdrew from the Local Development Framework Working Group, I was invited to fill one of the vacant positions in the full knowledge of my views on the future development of Newport.
I have found there are good reasons why the Working Group discussions are held privately. It does enable detailed and critical examination of proposals and developers. In fact, this same procedure has applied for many years, even when the Liberal Democrats controlled the council.
Of course, when the working group’s final recommendations come out, hopefully during March, they will then be debated by the full council.
Following this there will then be a period of public consultation before a final decision is made by the full district council.
Finally, I have to say that since the Liberal Democrats have withdrawn from the Working Group, apart from arguing in principle for a lot of housing in Uttlesford, they will not put forward their proposals as to where that development should take place. They only want to criticise which doesn’t lead to a very constructive debate. Nor does it help to protect Newport.