Questions that need answering

Posted on 15th March, 2017

Here are some questions that we believe Toby Morris, Deputy Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, Leader of Witney Town Council, and one of the councillors representing North Witney on WODC needs to answer


Why is Cllr Morris quoted in the minutes of a debate at the town council over their submission on the Local Plan on December 14th, as saying ‘The development of North Witney was something that the inspector had asked for’?


The inspector did not say this or anything that could be construed as meaning this. Cllr Morris approved the minutes.


Why is Cllr Morris actively supporting the North Witney development when he is quoted as saying the following in the Witney Gazette on 8th March ‘Mr Morris added that he thought the town council's submission on the Local Plan, prepared by the chairman of the planning committee, Alan Beames, was not strong enough in its concerns over the North Witney site."


Could it be that he is having his arm twisted from higher up in WODC? In the same way that every WODC Conservative Councillor received a phone call before the vote on the Local Plan telling them to approve it. The one Conservative Councillor who actively opposed the Plan - on the grounds that the North Witney development is totally unsound - was fired from his position on WODC planning committee hours before this meeting. This was Richard Langridge, the other WODC councillor for North Witney, who has shown the personal integrity to represent the people who voted him in.


A final question. Why are senior Conservative Councillors being so blinkered in their determination to include the North Witney development in their plan when there are such huge issues of flooding, traffic, environment, infrastructure and viability?


NWAG, representing over 1,000 local signatories to our petition, are campaigning to have the North Witney development removed from the Local Plan despite WODC's efforts which appear to represent developers' needs rather than those of local people.