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Local Plan: Tories and opposition split over proposals

Canterbury City Council’s
blueprint for the district has already created a split between the Tory
majority and opposition members. Each Conservative on the
ruling executive insists he or she will listen to public opinion and allow it
to shape Canterbury’s future.

The council will use its
forthcoming issue of its District Life magazine to outline the Local Plan and
tell people how they can comment on it. Cllr Peter Lee, the council’s
finance supremo, says much of the proposed house-building is geared towards
retaining talented and employable people. He said:

“We are not going to be
able to do that  unless we build
affordable homes for them to live in.”

Cllr Terry Westgate, who
represents St Stephen’s ward, said:

“I’ve lived in
Canterbury for 38 years and I’m passionate about the city. I want people to
support what is good in this plan and tell us what they think is wrong with

Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones, the
council’s member for transport, warned objectors to the draft plan to be
measured in their criticism:

“It’s no good screaming
and shouting and being abusive to councillors – that will not help. I am
heartened to hear what people have to say. It’s clear they are passionate about
the district.”

Northgate Labour councillor
Alan Baldock urged the executive to act on the views put forward in the coming
consultation. He said:

“It [the draft plan] lacks one vital ingredient – the wisdom of local people whose feet are firmly
on the ground with a stake in their district, every day of every year. But the
truth is that this executive no longer has the trust of the people of this
district. They no longer believe that their comments will be listened to or

Lib Dem Nick Eden-Green
described the plan as “fatally flawed” adding:

“Suffice it to say that
there is much in it that is excellent, but I disagree with its conclusions on
housing numbers and their locations.”

HB Gazette 6th Jun 2013

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