Labour’s candidate for the May County Council elections in Glossopdale has accused the leader of Derbyshire County Council of reneging on his promise that information days at the Victoria Hall Library would be held when the County Council submitted plans for it’s new Library on the site of the Old St. Lukes School site.
Damien Greenhalgh said that the failure to put into action a specific pledge represented another letdown on the part of the County Council to pay regard to the feelings of local people.
In his open letter published on 8th November 2012, County Council Leader Councillor Andrew Lewer said “We are keen to work alongside local people.”
He then went on to write that he “would urge local people to get involved by commenting on the plans when the Council seeks planning permission over the next few weeks, or by attending one of our information days at the library…”
With consultation due to end on 14th February, Mr Greenhalgh said there appeared to be no intention to hold a realistic and reasonable discussion with the Glossopdale community.
“When a senior Borough Councillor phoned the Library on Monday afternoon (4th. Feb), staff confirmed that no consultation had so far been held, but that a senior manager would return his call. A very senior officer rang back to confirm that there was no intention to hold any information days at the library until after the planning application had been granted.”
“If they do end up holding a meeting, it will be as a result of this intervention rather than because they intended to listen to the people of Glossopdale.”
Damien Greenhalgh said that an additional Derbyshire planning committee had been called for 13th March. He suspected that this was to allow the application to go forward would not consider whether people wanted investment in Victoria Hall or in the demolition of the old St Lukes building.
Derbyshire County Council Labour Leader Anne Western has already promised a new consultation will be undertaken in conjunction with High Peak Council if Labour take over at the May elections.