Referendum - Wrong to voice an opinion

We read with interest the comments of councillor Aron in the Horncastle News of March 30 when he claimed that he is writing as a member of the public.

We are a group of Horncastle residents who are trying to promote the survival of the town.

Despite his protestations, Coun Aron is a town and county councillor, and a member of the HNDP Steering Group.

As such, he should not be voicing an opinion, either official or personal, on the upcoming referendum.

In his letter, Coun Aron states the process that has been undertaken but does not explain how the plan in its present form can benefit and protect the town.

Furthermore, the fact that Horncastle is the “first town in the whole of East Lindsey” is totally irrelevant.

This is not a competition between towns, but a development plan for Horncastle for the next 15 years.

Coun Aron’s leaflet supporting a yes vote highlights two reasons to vote yes, the first being that the plan aims to help protect the character and the environment.

As the HNDP is about design policies, it will help achieve this when detail design conditions are addressed.

It will not, however, stop outline applications being approved prior to any of the policies in the HNDP being applied.

His second reason is that it will help improve the amenities and facilities of the town.

When large-scale developments are approved at outline stage, it is essential that every funding option is exploited.

This does not happen at present and is not enforceable within the HNDP as written.

Contrary to advice from ELDC, we believe that Contributions to Infrastructure Levies (CILS), should be utilised.

Of more concern is that Coun Aron has advocated at town planning meetings that major improvements to existing infrastructure should come first and in parallel to any major developments. The HNDP refutes this suggestion.

The vote no campaign continues to canvass the town’s residents to protect our town.

Stewart Attwood, Andrew Neal, Alan Lockwood and Richard Barker

By email

Editor’s note: Essentially, councils should not publish any material which appears to be designed to influence the outcome of an election/referendum. Councillors, however, may act in a private capacity and create their own publicity, provided that council resources are not used.