Dowdle resigns in protest at Tory group
EAST Hampshire district councillor for Whitehill (Pinewood), Ian Dowdle, has resigned from the council’s Conservative Group.
He has taken this action after becoming disillusioned with the way his fellow councillors have managed the eco-town project.
Cllr Dowdle said: “It is with great thought and consideration that I have decided to leave the Conservative Group at EHDC.
“It will be of no secret to people that the Conservative Group at the council has, over the past 12 months or so, been going through a difficult and turbulent period of change.
“The third leader to be elected to the Conservative Group in about 12 months has been elected and I feel the change that has occurred is no longer compatible with my beliefs, nor importantly is it compatible with what I stood for in the last district elections.”
He added: “My growing dissatisfaction has not been a secret and this action I believe is best for all.”
Cllr Dowdle continued: “The recent practice of the leadership at EHDC to have a portfolio holder from Alton and Hampshire County Council to have a county councillor from the New Forest (representing the eco-town), both making major decisions which will affect Whitehill and Bordon and the surrounding communities, with little or no consultation with local elected representatives, appears a nonsense.
“The eco-town, we were informed, was a community project; a partner project. It is no longer – it has changed and become something completely different.
“Residents and elected representatives feel they are simply not being listened to. The government policy of ‘localism’ is certainly not working here.”
Adam Carew, speaking on behalf of the Lib Dems, said: “Ian has taken a very principled stand over the imposition of councillors from Alton and the New Forest at the expense of locally elected representatives.
“These (councillors) are wholly unaccountable to the people of Whitehill and Bordon for the critical decisions they will make.”
He stressed: “There are now no councillors in the town who are happy with the new delivery board structure or the current Masterplan.
“EHDC appears to be keen to impose its out-of-date top-down approach to the eco-town in opposition to the wishes of the town and surrounding villages and contrary to the inclusive bottom-up localism favoured by the new coalition government.”
He added: “The people of the town have had enough – we will not be threatened, bullied or told what is best for us.”
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Weather for Petersfield
Friday 13 December 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: South west