Conservatives fail to deliver openness and transparency on William Hunter Way

November 27, 2012 10:17 AM

Lib Dem councillors with protestors at William Hunter WayLiberal Democrat councillors and many Brentwood residents were left angry and frustrated at last night¡¦s Extraordinary Council meeting after the leadership of the Conservative administration failed time after time to deliver openness and transparency on the William Hunter Way development.

Question after question was either ignored by the leadership or left to officers to try to answer and constitutional procedures were used to stifle debate and restrict amendments from opposition councillors..

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Kendall made it clear once again that his group were keen to see a cinema return to Brentwood but not at any price. He said they had not been able to support the original William Hunter Way

David Kendall

Cllr David Kendall

application back in 2007 because the sheer size, scale and mass would change the face and character of Brentwood forever. Whilst that position still holds true today, five years later they have had to accept the reality of the situation. The planning application runs to September 2013 so we can¡¦t change it or alter it in anyway. All we can do is fight to ensure that Brentwood residents get the best deal possible in the negotiations between the Council and the developer.

During the discussion Cllr Kendall and his colleagues raised many points including the following:

  • As the Leader of the opposition why wasn't he given a copy of the Multi Storey Car Park case review draft report when it was published in August 2012? What is going to happen about the management of the car park? What control will the Council have on car parking charges?
  • As the leader of the opposition, supposedly on a cross party working group on William Hunter Way which was set up in 2006, why hasn't this group met for six years and why wasn't he given any information voluntarily on the William Hunter way development during that time?
  • Councillors are now being told that the existing development agreement has been extended automatically to December 2013. Why has this not been explained to members before now and why did it not come back to members for discussion and a formal decision?
  • Why is the Borough Council using consultants CBRE for advice when a different arm of the same company are also acting for the developer Stocklands?

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Kendall said:

"We have lost faith in this Conservative administration to deliver openness and transparency on the William Hunter Way development. They have failed to properly address the serious concerns that we and many Brentwood residents have about this scheme and it¡¦s not good enough. This development will be the biggest thing that happens to Brentwood for many years so it is vital the Council gets it right.

"The Liberal Democrat group will continue asking questions and probing for the truth and we keep fighting to ensure to ensure that the Council achieves the best deal it can for local residents from the developer."