COMMUNITY LEADER Terry Piccolo asks the question of the UKIP and the Conservative candidate
“The local election candidates and there supporters were out in force in Stanford le Hope West over the Bank Holiday weekend. On Saturday I had two leaflets promoting the UKIP candidate for Stanford West and on Sunday I had a second, hurriedly put together leaflet from the Conservative candidate.
All very impressive as these followed on leaflets I had received two weeks ago, or is it?
Let’s take the UKIP leaflet from Stuart St.Clair-Haslam: Reason 4 of his 5 reasons to support him states “Thurrock Council are using a top class barrister to defeat local opposition to building on Stanford-le Hope Greenbelt.
There are only two major proposed Greenbelt Developments on the books at present. One is the Barrett’s Butts Lane Development that Thurrock Council opposed and the other is the new application by C&S Associates regarding the land south of the Manorway.
Maybe Mr Stuart St.Clair-Haslam is unsure which ward he is representing as I believe there is a Planning Issue involving barristers in the Homesteads Ward.
I was prepared to overlook this ploy to solicit votes from those concerned about Greenbelt development, as I am also concerned about the Greenbelt. However when I read the leaflet rushed out by Shane Hebb for the Conservatives I decided I had to speak up as the leaflet is totally inaccurate.
It states that the Planning Application for the Victoria Rd Flood Plain “has been agreed despite our wishes”. First of all the Planning Application No they quote has been withdrawn by C&S Associates, they have submitted a similar Planning Application for the same site but this has only just been validated and it is still possible for local residents to lodge their objections.
Regarding both candidates claims that they were opposed to the applications, I have looked through all the objections to both the applications mentioned and lo and behold I cannot find a single objection from either of the candidates.
It is this fact that is most annoying. I along with a number of local residents formed R.A.I.D. to fight the Butts Lane Application, which by the way may have been agreed by Thurrock Thames Gateway but is still to be approved by the Secretary of State to whom we have made further representations, so there is still hope.
Local candidates trying to cajole the local residents into voting for them is what electioneering is all about but should not include giving out inaccurate information in the hope it will scare local residents into voting for them.
I am disappointed in both candidates and their backroom staff as if the information in the leaflets was not deliberately misleading then it shows a lack of research or understanding of the ward they wish to represent.
My political leanings are right of centre and it has left me in a quandry as to where to place my cross this Thursday but nevertheless I could not let the matter go unchecked.