How curious that Craig Whittaker (MP) and Coun Scott Benton (Conservative Group Leader on Calderdale Council) should have called meetings in Elland and other towns in the lower Calder Valley to object to the recent draft of the Local Plan, drawn up by council officers.
In a ruling from central government, all local authorities must provide a spatial plan of future land use in terms of infrastructure, development and environmental protection, etc for the coming 15 years. For Calderdale this has been a mammoth task, involving input from councillors and residents of all political colours.
Despite what we are led to believe, it is in fact of no surprise to either of these Tory politicians that the plan has developed in the manner it has; Tory councillors were as much involved in this procedure.
However, instead of continuing to work together with other parties, Craig and Scott are attempting to make cheap political gain by attacking a complex and considered process that is vital in the delivery of essential housing, new business development and ultimately prosperity within the valley. When questioned over an alternative vision that they might hold for the valley, they consistently fail to provide a credible answer and certainly without a housing tally to meet the target figure for projected growth.
Their conveyance of “creative ambiguity” toward the electorate is very reminiscent of a recent General Election, where the Conservatives failed to provide foresight for the country with an extremely empty, fragile and uncosted Tory manifesto.
This torrid behaviour presents as much a shambles for the valley as it does for the country.