Postbag: Finnie’s claims are misleading

Ex-councillor Nick Finnie (Letters, January 4) was appalled by the subsequent conduct of both senior Conservatives within the council and the planning officers regarding the Bydlands Lane, Little Paxton, planning application. All I can say is that it is

Ex-councillor Nick Finnie (Letters, January 4) was "appalled by the subsequent conduct of both senior Conservatives within the council and the planning officers" regarding the Bydlands Lane, Little Paxton, planning application.

All I can say is that it is lucky for Nick that he has not stuck around to see what, I predict, will be the twistings and turnings of senior officers and senior Conservative councillors over the forthcoming plans to replace Pathfinder House.

As leader of the Liberal Democrats on St Neots Town Council, I wish to make the following observations. During his short time in office, Mr Finnie attended only two town council meetings, and I believe that he has dramatically and deliberately misinterpreted healthy debates which have taken place in the St Neots Town Council Chamber. He has incorrectly labelled them as bitter fighting, which is not only untrue, it is an insult to elected members. Furthermore it is misleading.

St Neots Town Council is a balanced administration, with each of its 18 members having equal opportunity to express views on all issues. Whilst it would be inappropriate for me to speak on behalf of the Conservative members, I do however believe that all 18 of us have all worked well together for the good of our town.


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To give just one example, recently three Conservative councillors put forward proposals regarding Grant Aid which would have severely restricted funding for local community groups. After a lengthy and healthy debate all Liberal Democrat councillors and the remaining Conservative councillors voted against. That's what having a healthy debate is all about, and there was certainly no "bitter fighting" in our council chamber.

No wonder Nick Finnie was under pressure from leading Conservatives at HDC not to resign when he actually left the country, but their decision has left the people of Priory Park under-represented for a nine-month period. Hardly democracy.

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DEREK A GILES, Liberal Democrat, Group Leader, St Neots Town Council

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