ADD UPDATE, 16 November 2016: Last week we invited Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC), to respond to two recent letters supporting ADD’s position, namely one from Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh, and the other jointly from Mims Davies, George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley, and Steve Brine, MP for Winchester.
On Sunday 13 November, Deborah Mitchell, received the following reply from Keith House:
Having reviewed the content of your website it would not be appropriate for the Borough Council to comment on yours or any other one-sided campaign group’s site. The Council has a duty to weigh policy objectives rationally and will do so over the coming weeks and months. ADD can best add value if it contributes in this spirit rather than seeking to simplify complex issues from a partisan perspective. We quite appreciate this is difficult given that planning issues can be emotive, but this is in the best long-term interests of the Borough as a whole.
Leader, Eastleigh Borough Council
We are grateful to Councillor House for taking the time to reply although we are disappointed that he has opted not to respond to the MPs’ comments, as we had asked.
As a group of local residents, neither linked to nor against any political party, we actually share much more than he thinks we do.
We share Councillor House’s concern about the complexity of the issues: this is why we are engaging professional consultants in planning, traffic and the environment in order to build our understanding and guide our responses. We are giving up considerable time to assessing this information objectively, in the hope that we can contribute meaningfully to this critical decision for our area’s future.
We share too EBC’s objective of having a Local Plan that is in the best long-term interests of the Borough as a whole and welcome Councillor House’s long-held recognition that it makes sense not to rush into a decision until councillors have access to all the evidence, including – we hope – highways evidence.
We also share Councillor House’s spirit of cooperation.
We therefore invite Councillor House and all other EBC councillors to engage with us to reach the best possible solution, both for the current population and future generations to come.