In charge

PUBLISHED: 16:11 06 December 2007 | UPDATED: 21:53 29 May 2010

WE wish to know who is running the shop at Uttlesford District Council. Crucially, which councillor approved the main core strategy consultation document, whose introduction alarmingly anticipates the development of a sustainable two-runway airport at Sta

WE wish to know who is running the shop at Uttlesford District Council.

Crucially, which councillor approved the main core strategy consultation document, whose introduction alarmingly anticipates the development of a sustainable two-runway airport at Stansted?

This looks at best like careless talk and at worst like a white flag.

The political responsibility for the housing options and the standard of the consultation rests with leading members of the Conservative administration.

Yet in last week's local papers there was a quotation from the leader of the council passing the buck onto paid officers of the council.

At a parish council meeting in Stansted last week the chairman of the key environment committee seemed to be unaware of what was being done in her name.

The consultation leaflet has been described as dishonest and flawed because it tells only one side of the story about matters like road congestion and secondary schools that are important to local people.

These omissions call into question the commitment of the politicians who should be responsible to open, fair and transparent engagement with the public.

They were asked several times before the leaflet was printed to ensure that it addressed these and other points of information.

The first version had strangely adjusted housing numbers in Option 4 and this incorrect information has appeared in village magazines.

Why weren't the Conservatives more scrupulous with this information before they sent it out?

The Conservative administration has claimed that the consultation is in line with government rules.

Official guidance suggests using public exhibitions, stalls and roadshows, focus groups and town and village public meetings to get across the council's message.

Why have requests for these not been answered by those in charge at Uttlesford?

Why were Elsenham and Henham parish councils' requests for support at well attended public meetings in these villages last week refused by the district council?

Councillors Cheetham, Barker and Ketteridge need to provide answers and learn to be accountable instead of abdicating personal responsibility by hiding behind paid council officers.

Cllr Alan Dean, Stansted South

Cllr David Morson, Elsenham & Henham

Cllr Geoffrey Sell, Stansted North

Cllr Peter Wilcock, Newport

Liberal Democrats, Uttlesford District Council

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