LETTER: Where were Horncastle councillors when Langton Hill was being discussed?

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The Horncastle News, 10 December, carried a two page article highlighting many of the arguments that should have been made at the Appeal, by Town Councillors Aron and Martin, to support the Appeal being dismissed.

The Appeal, however, was upheld and approval for 300 houses granted.

What is extremely worrying is the fact that the Chairman of the Town Council Planning Committee Cllr Aron makes reference to;

“Concerned about highways, flooding, schools and health provision”

“the cumulative effect”, of the number of applications in the system, “We don’t believe is being taken into account properly”.

Cllr Aron also made reference to ELDC and a meeting with Cllr Leyland, and why ELDC “were not in a position to resist all these development proposals.”.

ELDC have a lot to answer for, as an incompetent Planning Authority, who have failed to produced ratified housing numbers for the Towns in the District for nearly 4 years. This lack of clear numbers and policies ensured the Appeal was upheld.

Cllr Aron, as Chairman of the Town Council Planning Committee why did you NOT attend the Enquiry and speak against the appeal? Your total absence and lack of interest was duly noted. Would your attendance have put your lucrative County Council attendance allowances, including the allowances you now receive for being Chairman of the County Council, at risk?

Cllr Martin, one of the Town’s 3 District Councillors, also made some very strong statements in the same article.

She accused Government “of riding roughshod” over the opinions of local people.

The development “would add to the strain on the Towns already struggling infrastructure”.

She makes reference to “speaking out against the development,” and “was elected to represent the local people”.

Fine words Cllr Martin but why did you FAIL to speak or even attend the Inquiry? You made a comment that as a member of the ELDC Planning Committee you didn’t consider it appropriate, yet you have now spoken out after the Appeal is over. So much for speaking at the Appeal and adding much needed weight to the argument to dismiss the Appeal. That is what you were elected to do. You have failed the Town yet again.

Wholly unacceptable Cllr Aron and Cllr Martin, trying to prove you are on the side of the Town when you didn’t even bother to turn up to the Appeal and speak out. You both have conflicts of interest that are unacceptable. Both of you either being on the County and Town Council, and the District Council in the case of Cllr Martin,, shows how fickle you both are. Your first and foremost duty of care, is to the Town, whom you represent and who have voted for you in the past, not protecting your well paid positions on the County and District Councils respectively.

It appears, to many people, that this was just grandstanding and early electioneering in advance of the May 2015 elections.

Perhaps the Town should “reward” these two individuals by not voting for them in the Town and District and County elections in the future. They have shown that their personal promotion and advancement comes before the future good of the Town.

As for Cllr Aron, who said, when he was elected to the LCC, and then joined the Conservatives, having stood as a Lincolnshire Independent, that “his election would be good for the Town”, has been exposed as a fraud. For the Chairman of the Town’s Planning Committee not to attend and speak at the Appeal is a total disgrace, and he should resign from the Town Council in shame.

Finally the following Town Councillors didn’t attend any part of the Enquiry.

Cllrs, Baker, Williams, Lamb, Roark, Wilkinson, Burbridge, Leshler and Birchall and the newly elected District councillor Avison and the Town Clerk. Shame on you all. Cllr Campbell-Wardman and Attwood did attend.

Alan Lockwood, Andrew Neil and Richard Barker RIBA,

Former Chairman of the Town Council Planning Committee. 2012 – March 2014