Away from my compyter all day I was astonished to read this from yesterday’s opposition day debate.
Gavin Shuker, the Labour/Co-op MP for Luton South, said that Luton could be allowed to expand into neighbouring North Hertfordshire under the policy.
“In the period running through to 2030, Luton borough requires about 30,000 new homes to keep up with population demand but can only build about 6,000 within the borough. What should Luton do?“, he said.
Responding, Pickles said: “They should begin to talk to their neighbouring authorities, and stop trying to bully North Hertfordshire council — I have had an opportunity to meet that council — and using terror tactics and being extremely unpleasant. It is the return of Stalinist top-down planning, and the biggest threat to the green belt that the country faces”.
The only other autjority with a boundary to Luton is Central Beds, they were doing a joint plan with Luton but pulled out precisely because they did not want to cooperate. So what is Luton supposed to do. Very politely ask North Herts to take some growth, which they have done, and to which North Herts has consistently said no to for 25 years voth for Luton and for Stevenage. So is it ‘terror tactics’ to exercise the Duty to Cooperate which Pickles himself proposed to the Commons for precisely these reasons. He is like the rouge iman at a madrassa who says sorry people should not have listened to what I was preaching and gone off and blown people up. It is the greats act of hypocrisy made by a minister of that department for a generation.