Ledbury is under pressure from builders and we need councillors with more punch

First published in Letters by

THIS is serious. Ledbury is under intense pressure from building development.

Before long there will be very little point in having a Neighbourhood Plan or County Core Strategy. The developers will have written it for us already.

It should never have been like this. The community should already have determined where and how much building takes place around town.

Instead, because of a fatal lack of momentum, we are still many months away from a statement of our priorities and aspirations.

Meantime we are virtually powerless to stand in the way of any building development proposal that comes our way.

Who is responsible for the delays? Look no further than the people in charge at Herefordshire Council and Ledbury Town Council.

Neither body has shown the remotest urgency or professional skill in getting a viable planning framework into place.

The time for empty talk in meetings is now at an end. It’s all hands to the pump. What Ledbury needs right now is action delivered by a group of fully committed, energetic town councillors working with local residents and technical experts.

If they genuinely care about our town, each and every Ledbury town councillor must now get themselves involved in bringing the Neighbourhood Plan to fruition as their number one priority.

For those unable or unwilling to do so, there is still time before by-election nominations close next week to resign their seat and let others with more punch take their place.

Cllr Annette Crowe, Cllr Rich Hadley, Cllr Liz Harvey, Cllr Terry Widdows

Comments (6)

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11:10am Sun 24 Aug 14

Lakselus says...

I have not been reading the LR long enough to discover all its idiosyncracies. This "Letter" highlights an example. It tells me it is by John Wilson, who appears to be a LR Journalist, but the letter appears with the names of four councillors at it foot. So whose sentiments are being expressed here, John Wilson's, the councillors or all five? Moreover, who wrote it? I think we should know, not least because four councillors represent c. 22% of the council so why do they not have enough collective clout to get something moving. If there is substance to their complaint maybe John Wilson can write an article quantifying the contributions of councillors based on hard evidence? Isn't that what investigative journalism is about?
I have not been reading the LR long enough to discover all its idiosyncracies. This "Letter" highlights an example. It tells me it is by John Wilson, who appears to be a LR Journalist, but the letter appears with the names of four councillors at it foot. So whose sentiments are being expressed here, John Wilson's, the councillors or all five? Moreover, who wrote it? I think we should know, not least because four councillors represent c. 22% of the council so why do they not have enough collective clout to get something moving. If there is substance to their complaint maybe John Wilson can write an article quantifying the contributions of councillors based on hard evidence? Isn't that what investigative journalism is about? Lakselus
  • Score: 6

7:13pm Sun 24 Aug 14

bob.tilley says...

Sadly comments can be made without necessarily disclosing one's name. The Gazette know but the public do not. Not a situation I support but that is today's accepted procedure.
As to planning in Ledbury the situation is repeated across the country but you only have to go as far as Malvern to see it at it's worst. Malvern is sinking under an accelerating number of applications for new housing and no Development Plan or 5 year land supply to oppose the applications.

Who is responsible for this? National politicians first who change the rules at a drop of a hat, planning officers who are slow to respond and local politicians who role over and comply.

So where is local leadership? Largely with community activists working with CPRE, Civic and other Ammenity Societies , that is you an me.
Sadly comments can be made without necessarily disclosing one's name. The Gazette know but the public do not. Not a situation I support but that is today's accepted procedure. As to planning in Ledbury the situation is repeated across the country but you only have to go as far as Malvern to see it at it's worst. Malvern is sinking under an accelerating number of applications for new housing and no Development Plan or 5 year land supply to oppose the applications. Who is responsible for this? National politicians first who change the rules at a drop of a hat, planning officers who are slow to respond and local politicians who role over and comply. So where is local leadership? Largely with community activists working with CPRE, Civic and other Ammenity Societies , that is you an me. bob.tilley
  • Score: 6

2:31pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Councillor Robert Yeoman - a personal view says...

Three of the signatories of the letter have been on the planning group for a while though their attendance has been patchy. The fourth signatory is deputy chairman of LTC's planning committee so I am looking forward to her full involvement.

Quite why these four consider any perceived problems with the progress of the plan everyone else's fault apart from their own defeats me. It smacks of deflecting a shared responsibility and political posturing that has no place in parish planning or parish politics.

The Neighbourhood Plan is a whole town effort not just the sole responsibility of Town Councillors. You do not need to be a Town Councillor to be fully involved in the Neighbourhood Plan and I consider their calls for councillors resignations rather ridiculous.

I am sure the people of Ledbury would happier and far better served with a more apolitical, positive, inclusive and encouraging approach from the signatories.

That said, the apparent lack of progress of the Core Strategy and Neighbourhood Plans in Herefordshire is not necessarily a total disaster and certainly Ledbury has fared better than Malvern so far. We desperately need housing for our young people in particular and fortunately the schemes proposed to date are, in my opinion, proportional and far preferable to the previously favoured but probably undeliverable viaduct site.
Three of the signatories of the letter have been on the planning group for a while though their attendance has been patchy. The fourth signatory is deputy chairman of LTC's planning committee so I am looking forward to her full involvement. Quite why these four consider any perceived problems with the progress of the plan everyone else's fault apart from their own defeats me. It smacks of deflecting a shared responsibility and political posturing that has no place in parish planning or parish politics. The Neighbourhood Plan is a whole town effort not just the sole responsibility of Town Councillors. You do not need to be a Town Councillor to be fully involved in the Neighbourhood Plan and I consider their calls for councillors resignations rather ridiculous. I am sure the people of Ledbury would happier and far better served with a more apolitical, positive, inclusive and encouraging approach from the signatories. That said, the apparent lack of progress of the Core Strategy and Neighbourhood Plans in Herefordshire is not necessarily a total disaster and certainly Ledbury has fared better than Malvern so far. We desperately need housing for our young people in particular and fortunately the schemes proposed to date are, in my opinion, proportional and far preferable to the previously favoured but probably undeliverable viaduct site. Councillor Robert Yeoman - a personal view
  • Score: -4

11:27am Wed 27 Aug 14

courtesycall says...

If there are 4 on the Council who feel others on the Council are not up to the job then I'd have thought it down to those 4 that think they know better to persuade the others to their point of view through debate and discussion .

Perhaps if, as we are now told, the attendance record were less patchy those on the Council who are being criticised for not being punchier enough would have more respect for the 4!

One reason I suspect that punchier people do not put themselves up for election to the Council is to avoid being punched!
If there are 4 on the Council who feel others on the Council are not up to the job then I'd have thought it down to those 4 that think they know better to persuade the others to their point of view through debate and discussion . Perhaps if, as we are now told, the attendance record were less patchy those on the Council who are being criticised for not being punchier enough would have more respect for the 4! One reason I suspect that punchier people do not put themselves up for election to the Council is to avoid being punched! courtesycall
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Wed 27 Aug 14

isobel07 says...

divide and conquer seems to be the motto of the "its our county gang" perhaps a pleasant attitude not bullying would have reaped results.since when have county councils actually taken on board local people's comments/
divide and conquer seems to be the motto of the "its our county gang" perhaps a pleasant attitude not bullying would have reaped results.since when have county councils actually taken on board local people's comments/ isobel07
  • Score: -3

7:52pm Mon 15 Sep 14

Colin_Marschall says...

All I see in this letter is a load of appeals to emotion, laced with some rhetoric exclamations based on personal perception and assumption.

Perhaps if these four cllrs were to actually try to engage others instead of demeaning them they would get a better response .. It seems that every time certain cllrs cannot get their own way they start calling for resignations, the epitome of spoiled children.
All I see in this letter is a load of appeals to emotion, laced with some rhetoric exclamations based on personal perception and assumption. Perhaps if these four cllrs were to actually try to engage others instead of demeaning them they would get a better response .. It seems that every time certain cllrs cannot get their own way they start calling for resignations, the epitome of spoiled children. Colin_Marschall
  • Score: 0
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