Westland residents grill Newcastle-under-Lyme Councillors

The Westlands Save Our Green Spaces Action group and residents questioned Councillors at a packed Wye Road Community centre yesterday evening. Councillor John Heesom,  Westlands ward, faced questions from residents, but struggled to give a clear answer when questioned whether he would he oppose the sale of the green spaces if this were the wishes of his constituents.

Councillors Andrew Fear, chair of the Planning Committee, joined later and defended the decision to keep last  July's Council Meeting, in which the land sell off was agreed, secret, with confidential "green paper" status. His justification was that the councillors discussed sensitive financial information which might have affected the sale negotiations. He confirmed the minutes of the meeting would not be revealed to the public since they were not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.


Residents voted unanimously to oppose the planned disposal of their green spaces. They also expressed their anger at being informed six months after the secret decision and the speed of the planning process after this. This was described by one of the residents as a deliberate tactic by the council.

Full report to follow

See also the Sentinel 8 Feb 2011