Angry civic leaders complain about lack of representation on council
ANGRY civic leaders in Stow have complained to the Prime Minister about a lack of representation for their town with the district council.
Members of the town council wrote to David Cameron, claiming Cotswold district councillors David Penman and Merryl Phillips, as well as Stow's conservative county councillor Barry Dare, failed to attend its meetings.
The town currently faces three huge planning applications – Bovis Homes' bid to build 160 homes off Oddington Road, the redevelopment of former nursing home Ashton House into a house and a surgery, and English Villages' bid to develop a £9.2m care village. The message also went to Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, county council leader Mark Hawthorne, district council leader Lynden Stowe and the three councillors concerned.
Mayor Robin Jones said: "It has been a point of grave concern that, without the attendance of district or county councillors, the points raised by councillors and the public cannot be conveyed satisfactorily to the relevant authorities.
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"These councillors are elected to represent the electorate's views and to convey the opinions of their respective council back to the people."
Councillor Stowe said he was happy to find a substitute for ward members who could not attend. But Mr Hawthorne said a county councillor could not attend every meeting.
He added: "However, if there are particular issues in relation to the county council, we'll do our best to make sure someone is there."
Councillor Dare has been suffering from ill health.
Mr Penman said: "The town council thinks district councillors are there to be its lackeys.
"I'm in touch with the population through emails, letters and telephone calls over the three developments."
Councillor Phillips backed him, adding: "I will always support the people of my ward whether it's against or for a planning application."