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Conservative Councillors to Abandon Top Election Pledge

February 12, 2020 8:54 PM
By James Archer

The Conservative council executive is about to approve plans which go against another of its election pledges after abandoning its commitment to protect the green belt at last month's council meeting, sending proposals for extensive building on the green belt out for consultation. At this month's executive meeting the conservative look set to abandon their top election pledge to keep the 1 hour free parking at its town centre car parks.


Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council's Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
"This move, if agreed, will encourage people to stay longer in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres. We believe a simplified two-price system will work well and that the new rates are fair and compare favourably to charges in other local authority areas."

Tory Election pledges May 2019.Councillor Powell ran with a pledge to keep the 1-hour free parking prominently displayed on his election leaflet in May last year, also included was a commitment to protect the Green Belt from intrusive housing which has also seemingly been forgotten. Has Councillor Powell forgotten what he promised, does he not care or was he aware at the time that this pledge wouldn't be kept. If you make an election pledge you do not then commission a review into whether you were right to make that pledge. You should do you research in advance so that you know you can deliver on that pledge.

The response on facebook to this news suggests it will do the opposite and actually encourage people not to go into the town centres to shop at all. This is consistent with a move to a more click-and-collect approach to shopping, where consumers do not browse physical stores but find what they want in advance online reserve it and pick it up from the store or make a trip in to visit a particular shop as they know they have what they want. In Long Eaton it has the potential to create a dangerous situation outside the Royal Mail Sorting Office encouraging more people to attempt park on the forecourt rather than pay to park in one of the car parks.

How many more of the Conservative Pledges are impossible aspirations that they will prove incapable or unwilling to deliver, time will tell. You can print of this chart and tick off when the break or fail to deliver another election pledge. The most frustrating thing is that these are all achievable pledges and Liberal Democrat controlled councils such as South Cambridgeshire have shown that you can update your local plan and include green belt protections.