Since I have my own view on the Local Development Plan, I attended the protest outside Halifax Town Hall prior to the council meeting to discuss it.
Although the protest began quietly enough, it soon degenerated into a shouting match and was obviously being used as a party political platform.
All that sound and fury changed nothing.
After an hour or so things broke up, and I was told I could attend the council chamber to hear the debate, but that it could be a long one. Later I read that it took about four hours. For what purpose?
How many councillors changed the way that they voted because of the arguments they had just heard?
How many councillors (apart from the two Independent councillors) voted according to their conscience and the views of their constituents?
The very cynical among us might say that the two sides in this debate are divided into those who say that they oppose the plan because most of the houses will be built in their wards, and those who say that they support the plan because most of the houses will not be built in their wards.
Surely this is one of those issues which is too important to be left to the narrow constrictions of party politics. Is it still not possible to set up a cross-party committee and allow a free vote so that councillors can truly reflect the views of the people they represent?
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