Misleading and distorted' reply

PUBLISHED: 10:57 27 April 2007 | UPDATED: 20:01 01 June 2010

I WAS disappointed that Councillor Geoff Harper chose in his response to my recent interview to make it party political (Letters April 20). In effect, this is exactly what is wrong with the current leadership at Fenland, a failure to accept even construct

I WAS disappointed that Councillor Geoff Harper chose in his response to my recent interview to make it party political (Letters April 20).

In effect, this is exactly what is wrong with the current leadership at Fenland, a failure to accept even constructive criticism and learn from it.

However, his misleading and distorted comments need correction.

First on tactical voting. I think it is perfectly reasonable to suggest people vote for other candidates except Tory in areas where it is not possible to vote Labour, which is what I was actually asking.

The alternative is to tell people to stay at home and not bother (not an option in my book).

It is also a bit rich of Cllr Harper to talk of "political leadership". When are we going to see some from him over the issue, for example. of Wisbech town centre?

He also fails to understand what constitutes 'consensus'. It is not simply asking anyone to sit around a table, it arises from compromise, and listening to, and perhaps adopting, ideas and advice whatever quarter they may come from.

I made it clear on numerous occasions that where we could see policies being sensible and of direct community benefit then of course we wouldn't oppose them, and we didn't.

On issues such as selling off our housing stock, contracting out of council services, year on year rises in fees and charges for leisure, selling off of community assets and rises in Council Tax, and much more, we opposed.

I stand by my assertion that the consultative and decision-making process at Fenland District Council is flawed.

Lastly, with regard to the public being able to question their representatives, or to talk on an issue the fact remains that his group has removed that facility and the Labour Group voted against because be believed that is was wrong.

I'll finish by pointing out that what I gave to the press was not a statement; I was phoned at home and asked some very specific questions, regarding my views and impressions of 10 years at Fenland. These I answered honestly and I stand by them.

Cllr Geoff Harper expresses sentiments at the end of his letter wishing me well. I acknowledge that but I have to say that if the situation had been reversed I would like to think my letter to an outgoing leader would have shown a bit more class.

STEVE CAWTHORNE

Norwich Road

Wisbech

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