Letter - Raw nerves over council criticism

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I appear to have hit a raw nerve with Coun Stokes (Letters June 14, Let’s Get The Facts Straight).

In his response to my highlighting of certain events related to the council, he seeks to politicise my points when I hadn’t and then smears me as a purveyor of falsehoods which I am not. I expect this type of behaviour from national politicians but certainly not from local, elected officials.

For the record, my facts came from the Wakefield Express and therefore are not my responsibility. Coun Stokes appears to blame unpaid council tax on central government action. Are we, the council tax payers of Wakefield district, happy with this explanation? I know I’m not. He talks of the challenges of finding work in the recession yet appears unaware that we are not in a recession.

Turning to issues of planning, is Coun Stokes aware that his council’s refusal of a planning application by Woodhead Investments put over half a dozen certain jobs at risk. So much for creating employment opportunities in this ‘recession’.

Coun Stokes states that the council takes planning decisions ‘legally’. This is not my experience; indeed where three recent planning decisions have been challenged (Woodhead Investments’ by appeal and two more by Judicial Review), the council has lost, or given consent to quash, in them all.

I do wonder how many lawful applications have been refused and how many unlawful applications have been passed over the years, all without challenge. I am pleased, however, that Coun Stokes supports our right to challenge these decisions; I believe this is called democracy and long may it live.

Richard A Dixon

Mollyhurst Lane