Green belt or red tape?

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Rod Lilley, chairman of Chidswell Action Group, has said: “The only party opposed to the destruction of Chidswell’s green belt was Kirklees Conservative party.” He also contradicted himself by saying: “On behalf of Chidswell Action Group I thank the Green councillors who joined the Conservatives in voting against LDF”.

This went to prove the inaccuracy of the claim by local Conservatives in their campaign leaflet that Green councillors want green belt land in Chidswell developed.

However, the destruction of Chidswell’s green belt would not have been possible if the Conservative Chancellor George Osborne hadn’t, at the end of last year, launched an all-out assault on the laws that protect our country’s most valued wildlife and countryside and declared that highly polluting projects are his preferred path to economic recovery.

Without any apparent evidence, he used his autumn statement to lambast the rules protecting these islands’ natural heritage, saying they placed ‘ridiculous costs on British business’. Egged on by the Prime Minister’s ‘blue skies’ policy guru Steve Hilton, he ordered the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, and the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to go away and tear up the precious countryside safeguards he considers mere ‘red tape’.

Tony KELSALL

Green Party candidate for Dewsbury East