LETTER: ‘Local power’ just Cameron rhetoric

At the extraordinary meeting of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee on February 2nd, Ribble Valley Borough Council finally admitted its position of the redevelopment in the Ribble Valley.

The councillors disagree with the scale of the development proposed, but they are powerless to stop it because they must meet the Government’s objectives outlined in the draft national planning policy framework. And, with their objections costing them £100,000 so far, they have not got the money to resist. Now you have got it straight from the horse’s mouth.

The divisions of the council should be of people interest, social interest and environmental interest, having such an impact on all who live here. The people’s views must be considered to shape their destiny for their children and future generations.

If you allow the Treasury and Department for Business to shape planning policy, you end up with something that does not work. If you weaken planning there will be a free-for-all.

With all David Cameron’s rhetoric about people power and rights for people to decide for themselves, he has, in the draft national planning policy framework, with financial incentives in the misguided attempt to kickstart the economic recovery, completely taken away democratic decisions of the people and local authorities to decide on their future wellbeing.

This is a turning point and, make no mistake, is being played out up and down this country – Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Northumberland, Shropshire, Somerset etc.

If we cannot change the Government decision, the English countryside will be altered forever and our democratic right to vote in councillors to do their best for our interests and wellbeing will have gone. We must make them all accountable and bring back national and local democracy.

MR PAUL WASDELL,

Heatherview,

Mill Farm Lane,

Waddington