Broadland District Council have been asked by Grant Shapps to give detailed updates on the plans for their proposed eco-town programmes and clearly define how they intended to engage their communities on development. We will be watching with interest to see what BDC and their PR company come up with next as they try to pretend that the local community has been properly consulted.
At the same time Grant Shapps has also indicated that he would also want local MPs’ opinions on whether the process was working well and fairly across all sections of the community. So here is another opportunity for Keith Simpson to follow through his pre-election claim that he would oppose the proposed eco-town:
"Now we are faced with another attempt to put an eco town into our community. Many of you have written, emailed or spoken to me about the proposal for the Rackheath Eco-Town. Overwhelmingly local opinion is opposed to the proposal as outlined because of the sheer scale of the development and concerns that it will not actually meet the full criteria of an eco-town.
I have attended two public meetings at Rackheath, recently held a surgery there and looked carefully at the proposals. I have made it clear that I do not support the development AND an incoming Conservative government will not support these Labour proposals for eco-towns, not least because they are opposed by local communities."
We will expect Mr Simpson to reveal BDC's continued reluctance to involve the local community in the process, preferring instead to rely on spin and manipulation. If Mr Simpson was aware before the election that there is "overwhelming local opinion opposed to the proposal" then surely BDC cannot pretend otherwise. If BDC have forgotten what democracy is all about then one hopes our recently re-elected MP hasn't also forgotten.