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Conservative Councillors desert residents in political power play

by Harbour Villages on 2 August, 2021

In an astonishing decision to ignore residents views every Conservative Councillors decided to play politics with the Chichester Local Plan by voting against Lib Dem amendments at Thursday 29th July Council meeting

Adrian Moss, Leader of the Lib Dem Opposition said “I was astonished that all Tory Councillors decided to follow, what must have been a “Tory Whip”, as they all voted exactly the same on all our amendments. What was particularly interesting was all members of the Opposition, except for an “Independent” representing a seat in the South Downs voted for the amendments. The Local Plan does not affect the South Down National Park!

The Lib Dem Group proposed a number of, positive, practical amendments designed to give the recommendations more clarity and structure.

The amendments addressed issue around the A27, lack of foul water connectivity, discharge of untreated sewage into the local rivers and the harbour and stopping speculative planning applications.

All the amendments where carefully written to strengthen the Councils position when negotiating with Southern Water, The Environment Agency, The County Council and Highways England.

They specifically looked for ways to stop speculative developments being approved whilst the Council had an out of date Local Plan. The aim was to provide support to our Parish Councils and Communities.

By voting against the amendments Tories have chosen to turn their backs on the people who elected them. It shows how out of touch the Conservative Group on Chichester District Council now is.

A Lib Dem spokesperson added “Not only did the Conservatives all vote against our positive and pragmatic amendments the Chair of the Council used her casting vote claiming it was because two Conservatives were not present. That of course was not true and as Chair of the Council you are expected to be impartial. Of even more concern one Cabinet member accused a member of the Opposition of “slander” and was severely reprimanded by the Monitoring Officer for inappropriate behaviour.“

Also of concern is that a senior Lib Dem Councillor, Kate O’Kelly, was silenced when trying to tell the truth to the people of Chichester about how the northern option for the bypass was taken out of the previous consultation. Was this an attempt by the Conservatives to hide the real truth?

In the end all the amendments were lost on the Chairs casting vote and residents will feel sadly let down by Tory Councillors who have lost touch with their residents.

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