Residents of Prestbury, particularly those living in the centre of the village are reliant on the Flood Alleviation Scheme to minimise the risk of local flooding. The Parish Council Flood Wardens keep a close eye on the scheme and forward information to the Environment Agency. Despite repeated requests from your PAB Councillors no action was planned to reduce the increasing levels of silt and gravel . Finally in December a request for action was requested from Floodline, the Environment Agency’s Emergency service. The scheme was inspected and an action plan implemented within days. As a result Environment Agency personnel worked for over a week to removed, gravel, silt and vegetation. The result, as the ‘after’ photograph shows is a clear channel that should be able to cope with any deluge that might occur.
It is clear that he believed that the speech made by your Lib Dem Councillor Dennis Parsons at their annual party conference suggesting prostitution as a career option offered to school children was dangerous and likely to damage the reputation of their Party. Tim Farron insisted the views of Dennis Parsons on this matter were not shared by him or it appears the rest of his party when listening to the reception it received in the conference.
PAB have not resorted to ‘smear tactics’, or deliberately misinterpreted his statements, we are simply stating that his views as interpreted by his National Party leader and Cheltenham’s last MP, do not belong in Pittville. If his views really were ‘misinterpreted’ why did he resign as chairman to protect his party. We believe he should have offered this same respect to Cheltenham Borough Council.
The original story received considerably less coverage in the local than the national press, where several quality daily’s reported outrage at his speech, yet the Echo simply printed his denial, claim of misinterpretation and apology. It did not offer an understanding of the full story or context of his statements. It is for this reason that we sought to give ward members an opportunity to understand exactly what had been said, even offering a link to hear the speech so they can determine for themselves the opinions of their Liberal Democrat representative.
LETTER PUBLISHED IN THE GLOUCESTERSHIRE ECHO 24/11/2016
GREEN BELT should be saved from housing development
I would like to comment on the excellent letter by Barry Simon (The green belt does not exist thanks to Joint Core Strategy – Nov 17th).
His letter hit the nail well and truly on the head when he referred to Swindon Village and other areas having lost its green belt, which has played an important part in protecting the local environment, and not least, keeping communities apart.
Whilst there will always be a demand for houses, there is ample developable land around that is not green belt and which should be used before the existing meagre amount of green belt is used.
We know from past press reports and the reading of council minutes, that the JCS is a strategy that covers the total areas of Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester. There must be ample areas of brown field sites in the JCS area that could have accommodated the number of houses deemed to be the right number. Yet the JCS ‘team’ proposed nine possible site locations, of which seven would be areas of green belt. And from what I can gather, there was hardly a murmur of disapproval from the local representatives on the JCS.
Statements from central government repeatedly tell us that the green belt is safe. Indeed, Government ministers state that they support the use of derelict sites, including MOD sites, yet when a government site such as Ashchurch (part of which was included in the JCS) is to be made derelict, they intervene and order its re-instatement as a site for government storage purposes.
It is clear in my mind, and Barry Simon reminded us in his letter, that “the Government would prefer to build on the green belt so as to meet housing need”, even when other sites are available.
I cannot help feeling that he is right, but I shall continue in my small way, to remind the Government ministers of their statements and what is expected of them now and in the future.