Thumbs Down to Labour Plea on Structure Plan

October 22, 2003 12:00 AM

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has given a resounding raspberry to proposals from Mrs Anne Campbell MP to subject the County Structure Plan to long delays while a Public Inquiry was held.

Contrary to Mrs Campbell's claims, the government has confirmed that the Structure Plan provides a deliverable development strategy for Cambridgeshire. For this reason the Deputy Prime Minister has declined to intervene in the local democratic process.

"This was a scandalous attempt by Mrs Campbell to influence government ministers behind closed doors. The Structure Plan has been through the proper local democratic processes, and Mrs Campbell had every opportunity to make her views known in the same way as other people did, but chose not to. This last minute backdoor move was an attempted abuse of power and we should all be deeply relieved that it did not work." says Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith, Lib Dem Leader of Cambridge City Council.

According to Cllr Nichola Harrison, Lib Dem Executive Councillor for Environment at the City Council, "I am very relieved that the threatened delays to much needed new homes and to improving local transport have been given an emphatic thumbs-down. Mrs Campbell's irresponsible request risked massive delays. We would have lost all credibility in our plans to get significant government funding for affordable housing, public transport and improvements to the roads".

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