Today (8th January 2014), in a Westminster Hall debate on ‘Planning reform and local plans’, local Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop highlighted the seemingly hypocritical stances adopted by Teesside Coalition MPs James Wharton and Ian Swales.
“Many residents in Stockton South and Redcar have been left confused by the position their Members of Parliament have taken over development proposals and draft Local Plans.
“For example, Stockton Council has been under continual attack by the Tory MP for Stockton South (James Wharton) for its planning decisions, with him branding the Council’s Leader as “Bob the Builder”. This is despite the fact that the Hon. Member has not once since May 2010 objected to a planning application, and despite the fact that it is his Government that is coercing the Council into making these decisions.
“It is not just Stockton Council that finds itself under attack. Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has been subjected to much criticism over its draft Local Plan from local Liberal Democrats. I have submitted a response to the consultation for this document, as has my colleague Anna Turley, Labour’s candidate for Redcar, who has urged for the inclusion of a commitment to a traditional pier and stressed her opposition to proposed developments in Marske.
“Despite criticism of the Council’s draft Local Plan in the press and in their dubious Focus leaflets, neither the Lib Dem MP for Redcar or the Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrats have responded to the consultation.
“Residents in both Redcar and Stockton South will not be duped when it comes to Teesside Tories and Lib Dems saying one thing but do another.”