Spot the difference

Grant Shapps writing in the Guardian said “Gordon Brown's eco-towns programme is slowly dying, but like so many of Labour's pet projects it is being kept alive for political reasons.”

Quite correct Mr Shapps – but you wrote that in 2008 and now, in 2011, the same argument is true but it is your coalition government that is keeping the project alive for political reasons.

You went on to say (in 2008) that “Rather than trust people, local democracy has been consigned to the scrapheap and the voice of local residents will be ignored, just to satisfy Gordon Brown's arbitrary targets to build these new towns.

This is where the difference between the two parties' policy positions is clear..”

We are afraid that last sentence has already been proved false – your policies are exactly the same and YOU are not listening to local people – in fact you keep referring complaints back to Broadland District Council. But Tory led Broadland District Council is not listening to local people either so where is the local democracy that you spoke about?

“When eco-towns were first announced we said that we would support environmentally-friendly development where local communities supported the home-building; where infrastructure was in place and where the growth was genuinely green.

These latest pathetic attempts to save face on this collapsed and discredited policy show, once and for all, that the government has got eco-towns hopelessly wrong. By trusting communities, helping and incentivising them, we can get it right.”

More empty promises made in 2008 – Rackheath Eco-town is on a greenfield site and is not wanted by at least 3,200 very local people but, hey ho Mr Shapps, you and your friends in Whitehall as well as the local district council  are still pressing ahead with the previous government’s plans.



  1. Richard Williams10 March 2011 at 12:23

    Grant shapps is the MP for Welyn Hatfield. He refuses to heed our complaints to him as a minister but he is hosting a website seeking more democracy in his own constituency.
    They are seeking a mere 3000 signatures to force a consultation on the Council about future governance arrangements for Hatfield.

    So he has double standards, and we have an MP who is more interested in the plight of Libyans than those who elected him.


    • Norfolk’s total population change over the 25 years to 2033 would be made up of
    approximately 221,700 gain from net in-migration and around 2,800 loss from
    natural change (more deaths than births)

  3. "..Rackheath Eco-town is on a greenfield site and is not wanted by at least 3,200 very local people ..."

    Unless those 3200 'very local' people are registered by name and address(with post code) the statement is meaningless as it is a subjective claim. Perhaps SNUB should, in the interests of TRANSPARENCY, post on this website the names and addresses of these 'very local' people to prove that this figure is verifiable particularly as it frequently used to justify the stance taken by SNUB in its dealings with Government, both local and National.

  4. SNUB collected over 3200 signatures on their petition but omitted those who did not live in the immediate local area of Rackheath, Salhouse, Thorpe End, Little Plumstead, Great Plumstead, Sprowston etc. We even went to the trouble of removing duplicates so we could not be accused of over-egging the numbers and THEN we gave it to our MP. The petition was never intended to be given to Broadland District Council to pore over and attempt to discredit and the Information Commissioner agreed that we should not hand over the lists to the councils.

    As the Information Commissioner told us, those who signed the petition were not asked whether they minded the list being published on our website and in the interests of data protection we cannot therefore publish these names and addresses willy nilly. They have been passed to our local MP, as we have stated, as this was our intention when collecting the names.

  5. Never, never trust a Politican. They will promise you the earth to get your vote but once elected and claiming their huge expenses you will be forgotten.