THE Tesco and Sainsbury’s planning applications have opened a window on to the workings of our town council and I am alarmed, I suspect many other residents of Ledbury feel the same way.
It does not actually matter whether one supported the applications or not, that is irrelevant. What has shocked me is the behaviour of some of the councillors.
Thank goodness we have real ‘stars’ on the TC, those who are discreet and do not continually give statements to the press, who listen to the people of Ledbury, do their ‘homework’ and quietly make up their minds about issues brought before them.
They are in the minority.
Unfortunately there are councillors who, confronted with issues that were destined to live or die on legal planning grounds alone, did not even bother to read the planning applications.
This much was very evident from the comments and opinions expressed in public and in private.
Few town councillors could claim a legitimate reason during voting on both sets of applications for abstaining, but abstain they did.
This was the single most serious issue to confront Ledbury in years, with the welldocumented effect that out-of-town superstores have on small market towns.
Several councillors voted against the first application from Tesco. Like most people I assumed they had realised the application was flouting most aspects of current planning law.
As a few of those individuals voted ‘for’ an identical planning application i.e.
Sainsbury’s, what do we now think in retrospect of their first vote?
In supporting the Sainsbury application were they perhaps Jamie Oliver fans, or did they prefer orange to blue stripes ?
The one certainty, whichever side you support, is that they were not taking a professional and objective, as opposed to an emotional, decision in either instance.
Is it now time for a change? Time to jettison the dinosaurs and let people who wish to serve on the TC explain in the context of a free election how their individual acumen, experience and expertise can help Ledbury move and evolve forwards rather than stand still or fall backwards ?