Sheepish councillors back track- massively- and say the only town is Whittlesey for supermarketgate decider

Planning Meeting 9.1.13

Planning Meeting 9.1.13 - Credit: Archant

SHEEPISH councillors back tracked – massively- and voted unanimously that the outcome of ‘supermarketgate’ WILL be held in Whittlesey.

Planning Meeting 9.1.13

Planning Meeting 9.1.13 - Credit: Archant

SHEEPISH councillors back tracked – massively- and voted unanimously that the outcome of ‘supermarketgate’ WILL be held in Whittlesey.

Planning Meeting 9.1.13

Planning Meeting 9.1.13 - Credit: Archant

Not one dissenting voice was heard at Fenland Hall on Wednesday at a planning committee called to decide a venue.

Planning Meeting 9.1.13

Planning Meeting 9.1.13 - Credit: Archant

Councillor Dee Laws, chairman of Whittlesey town council, suggested there had been “a huge loss of confidence” after they had decided to switch the venue to Wisbech St Mary.

“Whittlesey feels it has been ignored,” she said. “Today FCC can start to change, or add to that concern.”


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She said the town council was appalled that Councillor Phil Hatton, chairman of the planning committee, placed the blame for planning to hold the meeting at Wisbech St Mary on Councillor Martin Curtis.

“Councillor Curtis has done nothing wrong, and as an elected councillor he has fought Whittlesey’s corner,” she said.

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“If you are going to debate the applications on January 23 the venue must be in Whittlesey to give the electorate every opportunity to attend”.

Robert Oxley, development director for Sainsbury’s who are calling for a judicial review following Fenland Council’s decision to also give Tesco consent for a supermarket in Eastrea Road, said it was only fair to Whittlesey people that the decision is made there.

Cllr Curtis, who was sacked by Fenland Council Leader Alan Melton for his stance on the supermarket issue, said: “The most important thing for us to recognise is who is most important in this.

“The most important people are the people of Whittlesey.”

He said: “There are massive suspicions about what has gone on regarding officers and members. I hear them time and time again.

“You have a choice today, firstly you can start to rebuild the trust of the people of Whittlesey or create further mistrust.

Councillor Mike Bucknor praised Cllr Curtis and said he had “carried out his duty in a proper way”.

Before Christmas Cabinet said the meeting should be held in Wisbech St Mary- a decision ratified by the planning committee on the casting vote of Cllr Hatton.

After a Cambs Times campaign it was decided to think again.

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