Solid Work From WRA; Nothing But Waffle From the Lib Dems


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One evening late last month the Corner Flag Bar was packed to the rafters to hear all the latest news about the fight against NA3.  Hearing anything at all was difficult, however, given the committee’s baffling decision to cast aside the PA system and address the congregation without any amplification. 


As usual, the well-meaning but ultimately powerless LibDem councillors Gordon Hook and Mike Pilkington attended.  Gordon Hook, clearly aware that he didn’t have much in the way of concrete news (geddit?) for the audience, decided instead to treat the room to some avuncular ramblings about his wife, his vision for secondary education and, erm, some other unrelated stuff.  From there, the evening rapidly degenerated into a LibDem hustings for the local elections, only occasionally veering back on track to discussing NA3 planning issues. 


Mike Pilkington explained his role as chair of the planning committee is very difficult because even though NA3 is obviously not “a good thing”, that’s not an argument that the planning committee can accept.  In fact, he’s not even allowed to think that NA3 is not a good thing.   Or maybe he is, but he mustn’t let the fact that he thinks that influence what he thinks.


The planning committee need evidence to be able to reject NA3.  The WRA, together with Abbotskerswell Parish Council, have done an outstanding job of collating evidence and putting solid evidence-based arguments in play.  But when TDC downplays, ignores and even colludes with developers to deliberately outflank that evidence, you wonder whether another approach might be in order.  The WRA and Abbotskerswell Parish Council are a group of intelligent, dedicated and passionate individuals.  But they’re also really, really nice.  Problem is, they’re up against TDC and the developers, who aren’t. 


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