SIR – Your newspaper is often used to allow local Lib Dem politicians to angst publicly about issues they would like to appear concerned about. However, when under examination both Lib Dem policy and the action of the local council often contradict the ph
SIR - Your newspaper is often used to allow local Lib Dem politicians to angst publicly about issues they would like to appear concerned about.
However, when under examination both Lib Dem policy and the action of the local council often contradict the photo shoots and sound bites they release.
For example, individual councillors, the local council and parlimentary candidate, have lined up to express outrage at the building of extra 'traveller sites' in the area. Yet the national policy of the Liberal Democrats is as follows: "There is a need for an additional 1,000 to 2,000 sites [for travellers], plus an extra 2,500 transit or stopping pitches, over the next five years." (Liberal Democrat Policy Development Paper, Gypsies and other Travellers, March 2003, p.12).
Also, Liberal Democrat activity over the last few years has made great play over the traffic and pollution caused by overdevelopment of the area, including the railfreight terminal. Yet, the Liberal local council continually allows people to build multiple houses in their back gardens, and plans to build on huge swathes of land in Harpenden and surrounding area.
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It would perhaps be helpful to democracy if your reporters could independently find out Lib Dem policy first, and when having a "chat" with the local representative, question them incisively whenever they take a stance directly opposing actual Lid Dem policy.
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Lemsford Road, St Albans
SIR - It strikes me as a bit rich for Cllr Sheila Burton to complain about the shortage of parking spaces on the Oaklands College site.
Was it not her Lib Dem council colleagues who gave approval for the development? And was it not them too who gave approval for Linden Homes' development on the former station car park? That too had grossly inadequate parking - one space for every two properties - again on the basis of it being close to the station and consequently residents would not need cars. The council were warned at the time by David Kaloczi's Oaklands Action Group of the sheer folly of such reasoning. And yet here we have it again.
Your report (November 26) suggests that the developers might be trying to squeeze in an additional 17 flats and do away with the community hall included in the planning permission. It will not be the first time such a ploy has been tried by an over ambitious developer and must be resisted at all costs. The next stage in such a scheme is to go ahead and build regardless then susequently apply for retrospective planning permission. It would be comforting to have Cllr Burton's assurance that she and her supervisory colleagues are alert to this possibility and will use the full force of their authority to prevent it if, of course, the rumour has any substance.
Townsend Drive, St Albans