Local MP, Sir Tony Baldry, has at last joined Labour in condemning the Conservative members of Cherwell Council for their failure to produce the Local Plan on time and to meet the required house building targets. Baldry said, “It has been incredibly difficult defending situations on appeal where there has been neither an up-to-date local plan nor a robust five year housing supply.” (see report Bicester Advertiser 2 January).
Labour Councillors have long been warning of the danger of unwanted developments in the towns and villages of North Oxfordshire because of the way Cherwell Councillors were dragging their feet in producing a local plan for future housing in the District. Now it is too late!
Not for the Villagers of North Oxfordshire….
It is the villagers who will take the strain from the increase in traffic and pressure on school places, which will follow these Tory failures. We need more houses for local people, but the imposition of more houses (built for profit) in unsuitable locations and against the wishes of local people is not what local people want.
So, it really was all empty talk at the last election when localism and ‘The Big Society’ were heralded in – since 2010 central government has increased its hold on so much of our lives – from planning and education to the NHS.
Labour Councillor Sean Woodcock is so right when he says that the Council must share the blame with the Conservative Government that has imposed these decisions on our local communities.