Labour Leader Cllr Claire Douglas
Labour Leader Cllr Claire Douglas

Fresh doubts have surfaced about the council’s approach to getting a Local Plan adopted, after a Parish Council on which the council leader sits pulled the Plan to shreds.

Representing Fulford Parish Council, Michael Courcier spent significant time during yesterday’s examination hearings explaining how the Local Plan was seriously flawed, not evidence-based, and even suggested on day one that it was illegal and must be withdrawn.  His Parish Council colleague and York council leader, Cllr Keith Aspden, is responsible for delivering a Local Plan for York.


Labour Group Leader, Cllr Claire Douglas said:

“The contributions from Fulford Parish Council, surely approved by its Vice Chair, expose the duplicity of Liberal Democrat council leader Cllr Keith Aspden. This suggests his priority is in fact not getting the city’s first Local Plan in over 60 years adopted, rather pulling it to pieces so that it fails. There’s really no other conclusion you can draw from Fulford Parish Council’s contribution. It’s almost beyond words how bad this is and sends a very poor signal to Local Plan inspectors about how serious this Lib Dem-Green council is about getting a Local Plan in place”.


Fellow Labour councillor Michael Pavlovic said:

“It’s absolutely clear that the key priority for Cllr Aspden is to ensure housing need in the city isn’t met, and that housing development is suppressed as much as possible.  His leadership of the council on this issue has been exposed as non-existent.  After decades of work to get a Local Plan adopted for the city, so that we can plan development carefully and protect the green belt, what Liberal Democrats are now doing is the exact opposite.

“I’d challenge Keith Aspden to now disown his Parish Council’s comments, and pick which side he’s on – getting a Local Plan for York or pulling it down yet again”.

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