Contempt goes both ways

Members of the Save Ecclesbourne Glen Campaign Group attended the open council meeting at the White Rock on December 16.

Tuesday, 29th December 2015, 8:39 am

Councillor Liam Atkins asked some questions on our behalf, and the group’s name was openly jeered at and booed by some of the Labour councillors.

SEG has always been and will remain a non-political campaigning organisation.

The most political thing we’ve ever done is accept the offer of a Conservative councillor to ask in open cabinet questions on our behalf, questions which council officers and councillors have refused to answer satisfactorily.

SEG is a little organisation with a small area of concern.

All we wanted was to remove the blot on the landscape of our Country Park and address the landslip issues, so that a much-loved path could be safely reopened.

However while attempting to achieve this we believe we have uncovered lies, deceit, mismanagement, negligence, inefficiency and apathy.

As well as the Bunker we have discovered wholesale destruction of protected trees, much unauthorised building work, landscaping, terracing, an unauthorised building, unauthorised solar panels, road extension, drainage and hard standings. The council had not inspected the caravan park for many years and it is currently unlicensed.

It is not a touring park and there are a number of elderly people who, through desire or possibly financial constrictions, choose to live there permanently.

They will not raise issues of safety themselves for fear of being ejected. We believe that every single person living on that site has the right to live a safe distance from their neighbour and be confident that in case of fire a fire appliance can reach their home quickly. This is not an issue to jeer at.

Jeremy Birch, the late Leader of those Labour members who jeer and boo at our name, admitted publicly that HBC planning department needed a complete overhaul and thanked this group for its vigilance and hard work in exposing this.

Let us not forget that the council’s failings occurred while these same Labour councillors were in office.

Those councillors who acted in such a contemptuous way on Wednesday evening should remember that contempt goes both ways.

Lesley Turnbull

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