Cllr Keith Mackman: Seat retained on Planning Committee, UDC posturing over for now.

Full council meeting took place on last Tuesday. The members were required to consider the new polling arrangements that have been necessitated by the reduction in councillor numbers next year from 44 to 39. Walden loses 2 of its 9 members, Littlebury, Birchanger and Barnston are merged with neighbouring wards. The logic of this reduction escapes me when it is predicted that the population of Uttlesford is going to increase significantly, also, despite the promises we see no reduction in members up the House of Commons.

One other item of business involved political balance on the council now that R4U have 4 members and comprise the second largest opposition group. Consequently we retain a seat on the planning committee and the licencing committee as well as the scrutiny and performance groups. The interference last month was shown up for what it was, petty political posturing. R4U will seek to avoid such behaviour should we gain influence at council, the members should be acting for residents rather than trying to score political points. At district level, party politics should not be allowed to interfere with council business.

A letter in the Observer recently launched a somewhat toxic attack on my character and trotted out the usual myth of a motion of no confidence. I think it is regrettable that some members are unable to develop a proper narrative and have to take refuge in smears and personal attacks, interesting to consider that so many seem to be Tory. R4U will not respond in a like manner.