Despite his claims to be standing up to protect our Greenbelt a freedom of information act request carried out by Calderdale Liberal Democrats has revealed that Craig Whittaker the Conservative MP for Calder Valley has not had any formal correspondence with the Department for Communities and Local Government over the Council's local plan.
Calderdale Council is currently being forced by the Government to find housing sites for nearly 16,000 new homes in its local plan. Any plan that involves building this many houses in the Borough will lead to the loss of greenbelt in places like Greetland, Stainland, Brighouse, Elland and Halifax.
Councillor James Baker leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats said "Craig Whittaker has spent a great deal of tax payers money sending out letters about the local plan trying to blame the Council for it, but it appears he hasn't bothered to send a letter to the Government Department responsible for forcing us to have a plan.
"In their leaflets the Conservatives say they will vote against a plan, but we haven't even got a plan yet to vote on. By saying they will oppose the plan before it has even been drawn up the Conservatives are risking the Government stepping in and doing the plan for us."
"We think it's better that we have a locally agreed plan which is why we are prepared to work on a cross-party basis to ensure development is in as suitable place as possible. A locally agreed plan has to be better than one imposed on us from Whitehall."
We welcome the move by the Cabinet of the Council to adopt a new methodology for calculating the numbers of houses required. This would ensure around 9,000-10,000 sites are required rather than 16,000. Our local MPs ought to be championing this approach and lobbying on our behalf with the department. This is what a Liberal Democrat MP would have been doing.