In response to Helen Wright’s comments in her letter published on Thursday, January 26, I wish to clarify how issues relating to Ripley Gateway were dealt with by Amber Valley Borough Council.
Agreement from council to proceed with the Gateway development was made at the full council meeting on September 28, 2011, – in public.
During the public part of the council meeting on Wednesday November 2, 2011, I gave a detailed response to the comments and objections received both before and at that meeting which is fully recorded in the council minutes.
When dealing with council assets we have an obligation to obtain best value and this means that certain financial issues, particularly of a competitive nature, have to be dealt with in confidence. By their very nature, reports which contain contractual or commercially sensitive matters with legal conditions have to be dealt with by exclusion of the public and all media.
All Amber Valley councillors are aware of this requirement and so should all town and parish councillors be, present or past. This process is in compliance with the Local Government Act 1972, which applies to all local authorities throughout the land and is a right which is exercised regularly.
I appreciate that feelings are running high about the proposed developments and I stress again that the Gateway proposals will be fully tested through the planning process, which will provide opportunity for the public to express their views about both material planning and relevant issues.
Cllr S Bradford
Leader of Amber Valley