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By: Rob Sedgwick
Planning Permission Disgrace
Saturday 15 July, 2000
The decision by North East Lincolnshire Council not to modify the council's local plan to allow the construction of our club's new stadium was a disgrace. The site was initially recommended to GTFC by the council, and 84% of the population of the county were in favour of the development. Even in the ward where the new stadium was to be located, the majority of residents still were in favour of the proposal!
What stinks most is that the plans of our football club, the premier sporting establishment for miles around, have been thwarted not by some obscure piece of government legislation, but by our own community leaders, the people who have been supposedly voted to office by the people of Grimsby and Cleethorpes to represent them in the Town Hall.
The following two paragraphs are taken from the UK local government web site (www.local.gov.uk). This is the UK government's policy statement of how the district councils are supposed to operate and clearly, in the case of North East Lincolnshire, they have contravened the policy on every count with this decision.
"Local government is a vital part of our democratic system of government. Through local elections, citizens have the opportunity to choose local councilors to represent them and to make decisions on the level of a wide range of services that determine the quality of life.
"But councils are more than providers of services, important although they are. They can and do provide a wider community leadership, expressing both the concerns and aspirations of local people. They can and do play a role in working with other organisations - both public and private - in the interests of their area. The council carries the authority and the responsibility that comes from its roles as the elected representative body for local people."
It is clear from the large number of e-mail messages I have received, and from the many impressive posts on the message board, that the overwhelming majority of Town supporters and their friends and family feel very badly let down by their councilors.
It is for this reason that I have started up an on-line petition to express a lack of confidence in our community leaders. My personal message to the 20 people who voted against the stadium is to urge them to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves whether on Thursday night they served the people they were elected to represent in a manner appropriate with their office's mandate.
When the petition is complete I will e-mail it to each and every councilor.
Rob Sedgwick - Webmaster
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