Listening and building sustainable communities.

In last week’s press, a correspondent made some excellent points about the exciting rise of R4U as a political force in a time when we need collective action to address issues at all levels. However he wrongly assumes that R4U exists so that “if local people don’t want it they don’t have to have it.”

R4U was set up to challenge Uttlesford District Council’s process which claimed to meaningfully consult residents, but in fact ignored them when 99% rejected their local plan well before the Government’s Inspector did the very same thing. R4U fully accepts that central government has for example mandated a certain level of building in the country and hence in this district and so we must fulfil this obligation.

We are not looking for self-government but for a local implementation of national policy which listens to its citizens and builds sustainable communities together with all of the associated infrastructure such as schools, roads and medical facilities. The correspondent also seemed to suggest that as there are less privileged areas than Uttlesford, then Residents here should never speak out about issues which affect them.

That is not a logical conclusion when even politicians at the highest level are trying to move towards localism; R4U with its make-up of people from every part of the national political spectrum has a real opportunity now to take a massive FORWARD step by giving back the voice to one small part of the country and inspiring other groups around the country to do the same. With 30 candidates right across Uttlesford R4U is the only viable alternative voice and is poised to do just that.