RBWM Borough Local Plan Vote – Cllr. Werner’s Speech

Though misquoted by certain Con Cllrs, find out what LibDem Cllr. Simon Werner really said at Monday’s Extraordinary Council meeting.


democracy, one that is engaging and represents the view and needs of the people. All the people.

Cllr. Werner delivering his speech

I am grateful to LibDem Cllr Simon Werner for participating with my quest for a more open democracy, one that is engaging and represents the view and needs of the people. All the people.

You can watch his peach at Pericope which starts at 29m 20s https://www.pscp.tv/RBWM/1RDxlZNQQvjGL?t=29m20s

 

Click here to read Cllr. Wisdom Da Costa’s speech and, to enjoy the full pantomime-like proceedings

 

I appeal to you – stop it and stop it now.

Text of Cllr. Werner’s Speech to the Extraordinary Council

A number of speakers have said that we have a housing crisis in Maidenhead – yes we do

But this does nothing to resolve those issues for local people. The BLP is based more on “we need to something – anything” rather than on any thought through response.

In my limited time I will just speak to three issues with it

Firstly, affordable housing – there is no truly affordable housing being proposed here

When I got my first job – on an average salary – I was able to buy a flat 4 times my salary

When I got married – my wife and I bought a house together – 2.5 times our joint salaries

Nothing in this BLP says that there will be affordable housing at an affordable price for local people

The council are using the national definition of 80% cost of housing in the area – that 80% is completely out of the range of people on average salaries in Maidenhead

I heard about a key working housing scheme where the only key worker that would be able to afford a house was a head teacher – so no teachers or even classroom assistance.

And with over 100 empty homes in the Borough surely we should start there?

 

Secondly highways infrastructure – I finally saw the infrastructure proposals last week – in a few thin document. Nothing is being done at the pinchpoints all over Maidenhead

Building in Cox Green and doing nothing at the two pinch points on Cannon Lane or Highfield Road

Building in Cookham and Furze Platt and doing nothing in the railway bridge or the weight restriction along Switchback Road.

And that’s without getting into a discussion of Motorway junctions and the A308

This plan will being Maidenhead to a standstill – gridlock – and it will be your fault!

 

Thirdly the appalling bullying that we have been hearing about.

We are told that if we do not do this the Government will take over the plan. I don’t believe that is true. We barely have a functioning Government now – and the word from a number of rebellios Tory MPs that the whole Green Belt thing is going to be too hot for the Government to handle.

And I gather even if they did come in – it will be too work with the Neighbourhood planning groups and parish councils – a welcome change in approach from the way the council is acting.

The Government has even offered arbitration to the council in its relationship with the planning groups – but I hear this has been rejected as well. Not the actions of a Government that wants to ignore the public.

And then we get to the way the green belt sites were added – suddenly followed by a consultation was started over Christmas and the New Year.   What kind of approach is that?

Then the misleading impression that there were many more “responses” than there actually were – what kind of approach is that?

 

And finally – to pretty much ignore most of the responses that came in against the proposals – what kinds of approach is that?

It is the approach of someone who has already made up their mind and will force it though regardless of the consequences.

The consequences of sacrificing our Green Belt and getting nothing in return for local people – except congestion, no truly affordable housing, no school or health spaces.

 

I appeal to you – stop it and stop it now.

Engage with your residents, get involved with the action groups, build an infrastructure plan that supports our building plans, consult fully on the proposals.

Only when we’ve done that — and modified our plans to accommodate residents’ views — should we move on to the next stage.”

 

Notes

My thanks to Simon Werner, LibDem Councillor for Pinkneys Green, Maidenhead, for participating with my quest for a more open democracy.

You can contact Simon by email at cllr.werner@rbwm.gov.uk

 

Caveat

This post is part of Cllr Wisdom Da Costa’s regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as he promised in his election leaflet

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).