Jun 21 2012

Whitchurch Fields – The Conservatives’ View

Following on from last night’s Council backing of the Whitchurch Consortium’s plans, the Harrow Conservative Group have issued the following press release:

Cllr. Barry Macleod-Cullinane, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and Belmont ward councillor, said: “This decision will be forever marred by Labour’s failure to properly consult the residents most affected by it; residents Labour ignored because the overwhelming majority of them are entirely against this development.

The attempts at resident engagement on this development have been lamentable; from the Whitchurch Consortium presentation in March which even Cllr. Idaikkadar said wasn’t good enough to the bread and circuses ‘fun day’; from local residents feeling that Cllr. Idaikkadar was refusing to fully answer their reasonable questions to the Labour Cabinet failing to take with a pinch of salt a pro-development petition organised by the Consortium itself.

The most telling thing about this petition is that, out of 1,265 signatories, only 17 of them come from residents in the 5 roads that surround the Whitchurch site. Add to this the fact that at Cabinet all but one of the residents who had submitted pro-development questions failed to turn up, whereas those against were there in force. By ignoring those whose views should matter most, Labour are making a mockery of their claim to be a ‘listening’  administration.”

Here at iharrow.com, we’re confused by Cllr Idaikkadar’s comments from the meeting, where he (according to the Harrow Times) told those gathered:

“I think this is a wonderful development and I recommend it for council backing.”

Our confusion arises from his previous comments at Cabinet, where he said:

“The overwhelming views presented by those residents who spoke at the meeting were either critical of the proposals and/or concerned about the possible adverse impacts on the amenity of the local area. I was not impressed with the Whitchurch Consortium’s presentation and, in fairness, the Consortium’s representatives have told me that they did not manage the consultation event in an effective or appropriate way…the Whitchurch Consortium have not yet explained their plans and proposals in a public forum in a way which I consider is adequate.”

Such a sudden change of opinion? We wonder if this has anything to do with Cllr Idaikkadar’s recent promotion to Deputy Leader of the Council?

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