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EDITORIAL COMMENT: Time to vote - armed with the facts

Published: 25/01/2017 1:00 PM

Tomorrow – by-election day – looks set to be cold. Not the sort of day when you want to head out and vote. It’s opening night for Adderbury Theatre Workshop as well so some will find making the time to go and vote difficult. But vote we must. Nearly £3,000 worth of our Council Tax is being spent enabling us to vote and give us the right to choose our next Parish Councillor so despite everything else that might be more appealing please go and have your say.

Of course this poll is happening because ten individuals demanded an election; of these, four (Colin Astley, Penny Clarke, Sue Jelfs and Ian Asbury) are existing Parish Councillors. Mr Astley and Mrs Jelfs have nominated one of the two candidates standing – Peter Burrows. None of the four Parish Councillors would tell Adderbury News why they requested the election and Mr Burrows has refused to answer our questions to help our readers decide who to vote for. Like us, you may wonder why all the secrecy, especially as Mr Burrows own flyer states he wants the Parish Council to be “more accountable” – whatever that means.

Mr Burrows is standing against Keith Mitchell who has a vast number of years of successful political life behind him. One thing that stood out from Mr Mitchell’s interview with us, and his flyer, is his candid honesty; Mr Mitchell has answered a number of issues head on. For example with regards his statement on development which might not be what some people want to hear, but to me appears to be the reality. We don’t want it, we can fight it, but if central government says it will happen then it will happen and all we can do is get the best deal for the village. Anyone who tells you they are going to stop all future housing development in the village is lying.

I question the claims on Mr Burrow’s flyer that he will “save our village from undesirable development”. Who decides what is “undesirable” and isn’t this simply unrealistic and unachievable. During his time as the Chairman of ACAG (Adderbury Conservation and Action Group) Mr Burrows fought against developments on the Aynho Road and Milton Road North and South: the success of those campaigns are clearly visible today.

In our interview I was interested in potential conflicts of interests for both candidates. Mr Mitchell has addressed this point, again head on. However without Mr Burrows’ answer it is difficult to see how he could be effective on planning matters: operational rules at Parish Council meetings dictate as the Chairman of ACAG Mr Burrows would not be allowed to discuss and vote on planning issues as this would be a conflict of interests (ACAG is viewed as a lobbying group).

So who should you vote for? That is for you to decide.

However why not try this simple test. Take both leaflets and read through them carefully. At the end ask yourself what is each candidate’s stand point on a number of the very real and active village issues. To my mind one candidate tackles a number of these head on whilst the other simply skirts around anything concrete and uses phrases that reveal nothing.

Happy voting!

Andy Green
Editor

 The leaflets for Mr Burrows and Mr Mitchell are available here.

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