25th August 2012
Great headline in your Editorial comment on Saturday about the resignation of Salhouse
Parish Councillors and I’m in total agreement with the sentiment that it is in everyone’s
interest to resolve the differences quickly.
It is important, as an ineffective Parish Council plays right into the hands of Broadland District
Council in nullifying any opposition for them as they attempt, once again, to push through
cosmetic changes to the Joint Core Strategy ignoring the Judges comments and their own
independent review which called the process “infected”! This could see thousands of houses
built to join up Rackheath and Salhouse that will eventually be swallowed by a greater
urbanised Norwich in the way that Sprowston was years ago.
The local residents of Salhouse have now indicated twice, first when in 2009 over 50% (700
from a total electoral roll of 1,255) of them joined the other 3,600 local residents from across
other parishes who signed SNUB’s petition (conveniently forgotten by national and local
politicians) and then again in last weeks by election when they voted for me on a SNUB ticket.
These views have been reinforced by the hundreds who turn out at numerous public meetings
and the positive comments I personally received on the doorsteps of the hundreds of village
homes that I called upon in the run up to the election.
Indeed one of the reasons for me standing was to demonstrate to the incumbent Parish
Council that we had the backing of villagers as they steadfastly refused to support our
campaign and the successful legal challenge. This unquestionable affirmation of the SNUB
campaign has been met with a mass orchestrated resignation that was signalled during the
day of the election.
How did they know I was going to win? What would have happened had the other
independent candidate won? Would they have withdrawn their resignations? Or were they
trying to all resign in order to nullify the election, as there would have been no council for me
to be elected too? These are just a few of the many questions that need answers.
It is also ludicrous for the previous Chairman to warn local residents that a by election would
cost £2000 when the Council has over £30,000 in their financial reserves built up over the
years due to not having had a bye election in living memory.
As for allegations of intimidation by SNUB then the ex Chair and Deputy Chair should recall
the disgraceful way that they twice interrogated a Councillor who was a SNUB supporter
forcing his resignation.
I look forward to working with the remaining Parish Councillors and our two District
Councillors to ensure that the residents of Salhouse are represented in a democratic manner
during this critical time.