I would like to congratulate the Matlock Mercury for your excellent coverage of the issues relating to the Bakewell Road redevelopment.
However, whist you have stressed the opposition of the Liberal members of the District Council to the proposals before the Council you have failed to mention that both members of the Labour Group on the Corporate Committee – Irene Radcliffe and myself – spoke out strongly against the efforts of the Tory Group (at least some not all) to steamroll the preferred option through the Committee.
Having spent so long preparing the ground for suitable redevelopment proposals Irene and myself share the disappointment of most of your correspondents regarding the proposals received from intending developers.
Like your correspondents we believe the schemes fell well short of what is required in Matlock and, in almost every instance, the gap between what is on offer and what local people were expecting is so wide as to render further negotiations difficult if not totally pointless.
It is difficult to believe that the preferred option of the Council can be refigured sufficiently to satisfy local needs but if that is to be at all possible it has to entail a much greater degree of public participation than the Council has engaged in thus far.
I shall certainly push on the Corporate Committee for representatives of the Matlock Civic Forum, the Independent Traders Group and the Market Traders, as well as local residents to be co-opted to work with Council Members and Planning officers in ensuring the Council can exert the greatest pressure on the preferred developer to produce a scheme which fully meets local needs.
Failing that the Labour Group on the Council will continue to oppose the redevelopment plans currently before us.
District Councillor or Masson Ward on behalf
of the Labour Group