Today the planning and environmental protection committee sat to hear the planning application for an anaerobic digester facility at Horsey Toll Farm. As chair of this committee I stood down as chair so as I could address the committee as both a resident and a local elected councillor.
My deepest thanks go to all those residents who took the time to write in personally, to all those of you that worked so hard delivering leaflets and collecting names on the petitions, to the lady that set up and managed the on-line petition and to all of you who signed them and helped out in any way.
I would particularly like to thank all those that managed to attend the meeting including my colleagues Cllr Rush & Cllr Bisby, which I appreciate can be difficult during the day for those at work, and my huge thanks to the two local residents who bravely came along and addressed committee, they did us all proud.
Sadly, some very dirty tricks were tried to stop me being part of this campaign, from a letter sent in complaining that I was only standing against the application on political grounds to the developer trying to claim that as the Chair I was in a position of authority and that I should have refrained from putting information on my website or taking any part in the planning process. Both clear cases of trying to somehow gag me and something I find despicable and lower than low.
I fought this campaign in the proper manner both as a resident and local councillor. I never sought to influence any officer or committee member in advance of the committee meeting and by my actions of declaring an interest and stepping down to address the committee on the day, which also removed my debating and voting rights, I chose to leave the decision to our cross party committee to decide, and they did so unanimously.
Today we celebrate a great victory for local residents and I hope this will put an end to this type of application being proposed in such an unsuitable place so close to our homes, school, nursery and watercourses and that we will now be able to continue to enjoy our lives in the best ward in Peterborough as is our right.
I also hope those who tried to influence my involvement in such a underhand way will hold their heads in shame at their disgraceful attempts to deny democracy.