William Hunter Way: Cllr Kendall's letter

November 21, 2012 12:03 PM
Lib Dem Cllrs Kendall, Straw, Aspinell and Hardy at the William Hunter Way site

Cllr Kendall campaigning against the development with Lib Dem councillors in 2007

The William Hunter Way debate is due to be debated at an extraordinary meeting of the full council (called by opposition members) on Monday at 7pm - residents are welcome to attend.

Last week in the Brentwood Gazette, Conservative Council leader Cllr Louise McKinlay told the public to "stop making assumptions" about the development. This is the response from Lib Dem Leader Cllr David Kendall.

"I am sure the comments made by the leader Cllr Louise McKinlay and the anonymous Council spokesman in last weeks Gazette regarding the William Hunter Way development will have left many residents feeling totally baffled and confused on the whole issue.

"Cllr McKinlay is quoted as saying " We are legally committed to the current deal until 2013 and we expect progress before then" and a Council spokesman is quoted as saying "The final proposal will only be signed and finalised if it works for Brentwood. If it is

David Kendall

Cllr Kendall: "Not impressed" with the Tory administration's handling of the William Hunter Way affair

not in Brentwood's interests to sign we won't". Those comments make things as clear as mud and highlight why it was so necessary for Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors to call for an extraordinary meeting so that the matter could be properly discussed and debated in public.


"The Liberal Democrat position on the William Hunter Way development has always been very clear and consistent. We have always been strong supporters of a Cinema coming back to Brentwood but we voted against the William Hunter Way application back in 2007 because we felt the sheer size, scale and mass of what was being proposed was wrong for the town. Five years later our position hasn't changed we still have many serious reservations about the Stockland scheme and do not feel it is the right one for Brentwood.

"Over the last five years trying to get information out of the Tory administration running Brentwood on the William Hunter Way development has been like trying to get blood out of a stone. Only now by the opposition calling for an Extraordinary meeting on the issue have questions started to be answered and some of the facts revealed. The Liberal Democrat group will now carefully assess all the information we have been given and will make our decision on the way forward which we believe is in the best interests of Brentwood residents.

"Whatever the outcome is of the meeting on the 26th November we have not been impressed by the way this whole issue has been handled by Cllr McKinlay. We believe she was wrong to appoint her colleague Cllr Keith Parker to oversee the project at such a late stage in the negotiations. In our view she should have taken on this important responsibility herself as leader. We also believe she has failed to deliver the openness and transparency on the issue that residents and councillors should rightly expect and deserve.

"When William Hunter Way is discussed I hope all councillors will put any party allegiances to one side, ignore any three line whips and vote for what they believe is right for Brentwood. We did it before on the future of the Town Hall and there is nothing to stop us doing it again on William Hunter Way."

Cllr David Kendall, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
Brentwood Borough Council