Ashford Labour: We’re not happy either

Ashford’s minority Labour group have joined in the criticism of the authority’s role in the Wye Park plan. Labour say that, like the Lib-Dems, they think the public weren’t informed early enough, and go on to add, ‘Understanding the confidentiality required, we are not happy that all the activity documented (in the Concordat) was taking place over such a long period without bringing all 43 ABC councillors into their confidence at a much earlier date than they did.’

Cllr Mick Hubert, leader of the Labour group, says that a Labour majority on the council would lead to ‘a positive approach seeking local and borough wide support through consultation’. But the project belongs in the regional development plan, he believes.

‘Bearing in mind the plan remains in draft form and that there is a lot more detail to be added and perhaps taken away, with discussions to be had followed by public consultation, we are of the opinion that it needs to remain in the blue print for the South East.’

Cllr Mick Hubert

Cllr Hubert: ‘Unjustified delay’

The prospects of the Park being affected by any combined opposition ahead of next year’s local council elections seem remote, however. The present composition of Ashford Council is Conservatives 25, Ashford Independent 7, Liberal Democract 5, Labour 4, Independent 2, and non political 1, giving the Tories a majority of six even if every opposition politician voted the same way. Only serious dissent within the ruling Conservative group could threaten its passage through the council, if it finally comes before some kind of committee. The Concordat has yet to face any serious open debate or committee vote within either Ashford Council or Kent County Council.

You can get more details on the political breakdown of the council, constituencies, and individual members, using its website through this link.

Cllr Hubert’s letter to this website is printed in full here.

This is the considered response of the ABC Labour Group of councillors to questions on the Wye Concordat project contained in the e-mail you sent a couple of weeks ago.

  • We only heard about the Concordat project for Wye at the same time as the rest of the public and feel we were not informed early enough.
  • We are not happy with the full content of the KCC statement and in our view it seems unjustified in keeping the issue out of the public domain for so long.
  • Bearing in mind the plan remains in draft form and that there is a lot more detail to be added and perhaps taken away, with discussions to be had followed by public consultation, we are of the opinion that it needs to remain in the blue print for the South East. If ratification is concluded by SEERA, the people of Wye and elsewhere will have the opportunity to influence the plan during the consultation process.
  • If Labour were leading the administration there would obviously be a larger number of us with more views to form a policy towards the Wye Concordat but, we feel sure it would follow a positive approach seeking local and borough wide support through consultation and if agreed, ensuring it brought a balance of jobs and prosperity to both the village and Ashford.

Clearly there is a lot more work to be done covering practical detail including achieving a clearer understanding of the knock on effect it will have on the current community in the village of Wye and balance it against the effect on the community in the rest of Ashford.

Yours Sincerely,
Cllr Mick Hubert
Leader of the ABC Labour Group

Advertisements

About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ashford Labour: We’re not happy either

  1. Amir D. Sulieman says:

    i had a chance to study and live in wye for two years (1971-1973), i could not beleive the news when i heared about the plane of destruction of this fine ,natural place with all its historical places. I still live with the memories after more than thirty years of my departure , i still remember places like withersdane hall and its fine garden,daniel hall and laboratories of soil science department . i hope that this campaign can save wye the village and the college.

  2. jack woodford says:

    Just a word for mr Amir Sulieman, while delivering leaflets for the parish Council around Withersdane, and surrounding area, I was struck, by the complete emtiness, and sense of abandon in all the buildings, when I first came to live in Wye, not so may years ago, it was full of students, and had the atmosphere of a real university campus…now it is more like some old worked out settlement, when all the business’s, and people have moved away…really sad…i would hope that you maintain your fond and happy memories of the College, and not see it now in its present sorry state!

Comments are closed.