DEVELOPMENT: Democracy in short supply

I am amazed that Coun Grant Davey has the audacity to invite people to have their say on plans for the proposed leisure centre, (Morpeth Herald, March 9).

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 8:39 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am

He and his council have recently ignored the views of some 1,493 people who objected to the County Hall development, together with the views of a large number of residents who signalled their objection to the Lancaster Park development.

Neither were the views of 93 per cent of residents who voted for the Neighbourhood Plan apparently taken into consideration.

Nor the fact that more than 1,000 residents marched to County Hall, only to find no member of the planning committee had the curtesy to meet with any representative of the marchers.

This attitude ignored the time, and no doubt the cost, involved in preparing the Neighbourhood Plan.

I also note that Coun Davey mentions democracy, but I suspect that the people of Morpeth will think this has been in very short supply in the last few months.

I would also anticipate that the council welcomed the many developments in the town centre, which the Dransfield organisation foresaw would enhance town centre facilities, and indeed would be surprised if the council did not encourage this development.

If I am correct, what a way to treat an organisation which has apparently invested some £38million to achieve this welcome improvement.

As I understand it, the role of a councillor is to take into account the views of their constituents. I suspect that as only one member of the strategic planning committee lives in Morpeth, the residents of Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Consett, Hexham, Prudhoe, Wooler, etc, would not be particularly interested in what happens in Morpeth.

I can only hope that the old guard will be kicked out in May, but I will not be holding my breath.

J Burwood

Lancaster Park