Thursday, March 22, 2007

Double Standards

The Conservative Party Website

At the beginning of the Tescogate scandal Catherine Whitehead the Borough Solicitor wrote to all Councillors about – “Council Consultation on Redevelopment of the Feethams/Town Hall Site – Position of Members of Council”. In this letter it is stated that “Any Member who makes a definite statement of their position in relation to the proposal which is yet to come before the Council risks an allegation of bias and pre-determination… If a Member decides that he or she does want to express very definite views about whether to proceed with the redevelopment or indeed join a campaign or lobby group then that Member may need to declare an interest at the Council meeting and consider carefully whether they can take part in the Council decision.”
On Friday 20th October the Echo published the following article – “A Leading councillor has declared his personal opposition to the proposed Tesco development in Darlington town centre - barring himself from future votes on the issue. Councillor Jim Ruck said a survey of his council ward had revealed the vast majority of people are so strongly against the plans from the multi-national supermarket that he felt he had no choice but to speak out. By speaking out now the councillor - the Conservative shadow cabinet member for highways and transport - will be excluded from any further official debate on the subject. And he will be ineligible to vote when the proposals are put before a full meeting of Darlington Borough Council.”
This week on the Darlington Borough Council website an article was published – “Council Leader Says No To Tesco 31/10/06 - DARLINGTON Council Leader John Williams will be urging fellow councillors to reject Tesco’s plans to redevelop part of the town centre – after the scheme was greeted by overwhelming public opposition.”
Is it one rule for New Labour and another for everyone else? John Williams statement is a clear case of predetermination and as such Mr Williams should be excluded from the decision making process alongside Mr Ruck.
We are therefore asking you the current Conservative Councillors and prospective candidates to add your weight of support to this motion as we intend to send this letter to the local press before the end of the week.

Tim Hinton-Clifton David Davies Kate Davies
Conservative Candidates for Pierremont Ward, Darlington.


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