LETTER: Time to stop passing the blame over Core Strategy

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I write further to your article, Motion was a ‘waste of time’, on February 4 and also to your correspondent’s email in Readers’ Views on February 11, with the headline ‘Concerned by how much money is spent’, with regard to the reference made to the cost of the Amber Valley Local Plan - Part 1 ; Core Strategy.

Your article of the February 4 quotes the Labour leader, Councillor Paul Jones incorrectly, by reporting ‘this decision to withdraw means the taxpayers of Amber Valley have spent £97,000 with nothing to show for it.’

The actual cost was in fact, £970,000, ten times greater than your article stated.

Shortly after the withdrawal in December, from the Public Examination of the Local Plan by Amber Valley Borough Council, I submitted a ‘Freedom of Information’ request to them requesting the cost involved up to withdrawal, which revealed the total cost of £970,000.00.

The Amber Valley Local Plan - Part 1 ; Core Strategy cost nearly £1 MILLION of taxpayers’ money to prepare over nearly an eight-year period, with nothing to show for it in the end.

At the Full Council meeting on January 27, members of the council agreed to start work on a ‘NEW’ Amber Valley Local Plan - 2016, without knowing the costs involved. It was reported by officers of the council that ‘a detailed schedule of future estimated costs having not yet been quantified,’ but I would suggest will run in to several hundred thousand pounds, this to up date and duplicate much of what was in the previous withdrawn Local Plan - Part 1; Core Strategy.

I will leave your readers to consider how their money has and continues to be spent in the future by the failure to produce an up to date Local Plan by the borough council.

There is and always has to be a price to pay for failure.

I believe the towns and villages of Amber Valley continue to remain unprotected from unwanted and inappropriate development and will remain so for at least a further two more years.

Surely those responsible for presiding over such a failure, together with the cost involved and over such a long period of time, should not be passing the blame on to others, but be taking responsibility and making an honourable exit from the ongoing process.

John G Briggs

Swanwick