Critics Say Green Belt Protection Cannot Be Ensured By Castle Point MP’s New Party

(Echo) – POLITICIANS hoping to oust Castle Point MP Bob Spink have branded his new political party foolish and ineffective at protecting the borough’s green belt.

Conservative candidate Rebecca Harris and Labour man Julian Ware-Lane are both hoping to win Dr Spink’s seat at the forthcoming general election.

Last week, Dr Spink launched the Independent Save Our Green Belt Party and announced plans to field eight candidates in the borough council elections.

The party promises to protect Castle Point’s green belt.

But Mrs Harris said even if the party did win local council seats, its members could not guarantee green belt land will be preserved.

Under current law, if the council has not demonstrated a big enough supply of land to meet housing targets over the next five years, developers are likely to win an appeal to build on the green belt.

Mrs Harris said: “Local councillors can’t change national planning law and if they think they can, they’re fooling themselves. If they know they can’t, they’re fooling the electorate by claiming they can.”

The Government has set Castle Point Council a target of finding land for 5,000 new homes in the borough by 2026.

Mrs Harris added: “The whole concept of targets must go. We will abolish them and leave it up to local people to decide what housing they want and where.

“Councils can alter their local plans and remove sites provided they haven’t already got planning permission.”

In total 400 homes are planned for Canvey’s green belt, while land near to The Chase, Thundersley, has been earmarked for up to 300 homes under the council’s core strategy or local plan, which sets out how to meet the housing targets.

Mr Ware-Lane said: “It’s wrong to claim the green belt is under threat because of Labour party policy. I don’t think the core strategy is good enough. We believe there are enough brownfield sites to meet the target.

“Scrapping housing targets would deal a real blow to all those people who want to buy a house but can’t afford it.”

However, Mr Ware-Lane agrees a vote for the new party would be wasted.

He added: “It is a fringe party. If you want a bigger say in what’s going on locally you need an MP who’s speaking for either the party in Government or the main opposition.”

Nice one, Sarah…

… (Julian Ware-Lane, 16/03/2010) – What label will Bob use?

7 Responses

  1. Morning Ted.
    What i don’t understand on this issue is why did Tory central office tell all there Councils to vote no and wait until after the Elections in may, why did the Tory Councillors in Castle Point vote yes to build all these houses? There Cabinet are not in tune with the whips in Whitehall.Stanley Baldwin once said when the civil servants are in control of our Country we are all finished.

  2. As naughty Neville well knows, all Councils must follow the law of the land as it is now. The current law is that a local plan must be drafted to identify sufficient building land to meet the Labour set housing target. We followed that reluctantly and hoped to have the least impact on the borough. If, (and I expect when) a Conservative government abolishes those targets, we will accept and adapt to that. And more willingly, as this is clearly a more sensible policy. But this will happen only if enough Conservatives like Rebecca are sent to Parliament. In a democracy, voters can protest as they see fit, but please, not on the ballot paper.

    Neville’s sub message is that Councillors should defy the government. In Liverpool, a place dear to Neville’s heart, a certain Derek Hatton tried that many years ago. It did not work then, and it would not work now. All that would happen is the government would step in and run Castle Point itself, as almost happened when Neville’s now political boss was deputy leader of the council.

  3. Hi Jeffrey.
    Thank you for coming on here to answer my comments i don’t disagree with every thing you say and yes i agree it is a labour policy, i have never once accused the Tory’s of producing these un- sustainable housing targets. but after all Eric Pickles did say vote them down did he not? Jeff i will say you are a Cabinet member that works very hard and you earn your allowances i enjoy following your portfolio, but you know Stanley Baldwin was right thank you again someone is listening you have put your head above the parapet some thing the Cabinet should do more often thanks again
    Best Regards Neville.

  4. i think the whole tory party localy are running scared you just cant trust anything they say .they say they beleive in high standards in local goverment took 3 months to suspend one of there councillors who was found gulity of bullying .then rebbeca harris is seen socialsing with the councillor at one of theses secrect society function .if rebeca harris wants people to trust her she going a funny way about it

    • Well, thank you for that contribution Bob.

      Just what your comments have to do with this thread is a mystery though.


      Don’t be discouraged from posting again though – and, meanwhile, keep taking the medication.

  5. We cannot afford to be tied to party politics by the next elected MP who runs to the government before acting on issues locally. We are far better of with independent candidates who have no party doctrine to follow and can represent the electorate without interference from the party heirarchy, who are all mostly interested in self enrichment and do not give a damn about what local people think.

    At least with Bob Spink you can have initial contact with your voted MP rather than having to go through a multitude of party procedures to get an answer. Bob left the Conservatives for this reason and since doing so has been more active in representing the community not the party. We may not all agree with everything he proposes or commits himself to, but we can at least challenge him on it, where as you would have no chance of challenging a party elected candidate from any of the main parties. Independent candidates may well bring a few surprises in the coming election, but god forbid we have that many idiots in Castle point who even consider voting labour.

  6. Very Democratic Pugsie. It seems that you like to use your blog to abuse people but delete the hard facts of the truth when it exposes your flawed journalist world. Where are those credentials for us to see again?

    What a fraud you truly are

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