Conservatives are in chaos after their surprising move to oppose their own housing strategy at a recent council meeting. The controversial ‘49 sites’ plan had been heavily criticised by the opposition Liberal Democrat group and large numbers of disgruntled residents.
The ruling Conservative group, now under their fourth leader in five years, shocked everyone by dramatically caving in to criticism and agreeing to review the whole strategy. Splits immediately emerged amongst local Conservatives as the previously silent MP turned on her own council group and criticised their approach to the creation of the plan.
“After only a little over six months in overall control of the council, the Conservatives are already fighting amongst themselves. We need a considered and mature approach to housing strategy for the District, but instead we have been presented with an unpopular plan drawn up behind closed doors”, said Liberal Democrat group leader, Sarah Osborne.
“This is a humiliating climb-down from a strategy that the Tories have invested so much of our public money in. Now that the plan is clearly falling apart at the seams, our new Conservative MP choses to voice her outrage at how the plan was put together, yet she did nothing about it at the time. Did she know about it and do nothing, or did her councillors simply ignore her? Either way, it shows the continued confusion gripping the local Conservatives”.
“I am looking forward to the new cross-party working group that will review the strategy and all future plans. I want to ensure we have a fully transparent process that results in a scheme that everyone can support.