Put a stop to railroading

Well, well – so the Tories on our Dales Council say they are committed to consultation. And who can say they didn’t have the chance. They could have launched a consultation with the people of Matlock long ago. They could have asked us what we wanted for our town centre. They could have based the questions on Matlock Town Council’s development plan. Then they could have asked developers for their tenders.

However it seems that a real, open, transparent consultation was the last thing they wanted. Instead they invited confidential tenders from developers. And they chose one of the developers, again confidentially. And then it’s leaked that the plan is for a 38,000 square foot Tesco supermarket and a Premier Inn. And now, they say, we will be consulted – after all the principal decisions have been made.

This is a mockery of consultation. Shame on the Tory majority on the Dales Council for not sticking up for our town. And we should thank the two Tory councillors had the decency to vote against the Council’s proposals – Mike Longden (Chatsworth) and Jean Monks (Hathersage and Eyam).

It’s time the Dales Council called a halt to this railroading. Perhaps they could stand back and reflect – and then to consult decently and honestly before any further decisions are made. If not, as the song goes, there could be trouble ahead.

Mick Murray

Matlock