Steve Bax seems to specialise in running the MRA down and making or supporting distorted claims about the MRA and its councillors in his edited Molesey News. We quote what he says in his latest Molesey News: ‘The MRA’s Summer Newsletter accused us of fabricating the claim in our May election leaflet that the RA and Liberal Democrat led Council had consulted on building thousands of homes in the green belt’.
Now what was actually said in the Conservative Molesey News Spring edition, prior to the May elections, about Housing: ‘The Residents Association political parties and Liberal Democrats………they proposed a quick fix of building more than 5000 homes on three large tracts of poor green belt ….’ Also the Conservative Housing spokesman is quoted as accusing the RA/Lib Dems of pressing on with a plan to build over our Green Belt.
The truth is that there was a Consultation document dealing with problems which the Council was facing included three possible options on housing for consideration by the public; 1) High Rise flats. 2) Very Significant Housing in the Green Belt. 3)Relatively small areas of what was considered non-critical Green Belt to be given up for housing.
This Public Consultation document originated from Council Planning officers and the issue of it to the public was agreed by the RA GROUP/LIB DEM Cabinet and was not objected to by the Conservative Group. In fact the document was headed ‘A New Local Plan’-Strategic Options Consultation’. The simple fact is that this was issued to get the public’s views on possible solutions to Housing, Employment, Retail and Infrastructure in the Borough and as such, no plans were therefore in place. Oddly, Bax says in criticism, ‘A local Plan is vital’. The options in the document were then twisted in the Conservative Molesey News as to be actual factual decisions. The Spring edition made no mention of the document being a public consultation paper but presented it as actual RA/Lib Dem decisions.
The Conservative article also states..’Our opponents shamefully referred our leaflet to the police’. In fact it was the Chief Executive of Elmbridge, who is also the Election Returning Officer, who made complaints to the Police and the Electoral Commission about this distortion. By definition of his job, the Chief Executive cannot show bias to any political party and therefore must have taken the view that the Conservative statements were a gross distortion of the Council’s position, which the above facts clearly demonstrate.