UKIP city councillors John Whitby:
There are a number of major issues going around at the moment which I think it is worthwhile considering carefully.
Firstly, you would expect a UKIP councillor to look at the mess the Brexit negotiations have become.
We as an area voted to leave by a margin larger than the overall 52%, and expected the government to honour that decision. But that’s not happening, current proposals to find a compromise with the EU would not be leaving at all, in fact it would be worse than our current situation, and this is, I think, deliberate. Get the worse deal possible and then say, ‘Oh well, it’s not worth leaving’. We simply can’t trust the politicians representing us in Westminster to vote against the EU gravy train.
Secondly, the development plans which the council have been putting forward.
We need, urgently, to increase our housing stock to deal with the homelessness crisis we are experiencing, and the outline plans, through Medesham Homes, for old offices at Bretton Court seemed sensible. But recently one was turned down by planning, for, it seems, a simple lack of forethought – car parking spaces! No use whatsoever for future use as ordinary flats for people with cars!
Additionally, we are having a fight in my Stanground ward to stop us losing the last natural open area of land, Tenterhill, 20 homes are planned for this site. This open land was a community asset and well used until it became a Bio- diversity site, now the Bio-diversity site is to become housing, preventing its use. Now I know we need homes, and the city is developing, but in my view any development must be planned to be positive for the existing residents, and not have a major negative impact and remove community assets. Positive planning, delivering ongoing benefit, not, the view of ‘put it there, they don’t matter’.
Finally, I’m going to comment on freedom of speech and the growth of the ‘Far Right’ in Europe.
It seems that anyone now who wishes to retain their historic freedoms and culture is being listed as ‘far right’ in the lexicon of the media. Yes, I believe the ‘Far’ right are growing in strength, but the reason is that normal channels of debate are being closed down, and many people are feeling marginalised in their own countries, seeing major unwanted change and unable to have a say on the direction it is taking. It can’t be a coincidence that there is a specific commonality between all the countries where this is happening.
In this country, it now seems that anyone who voted Brexit is also now, ‘Far Right’, anti migrant, anti EU.
Lets make this clear, no-one I know who voted Brexit is anti immigrant, but what we didn’t want is the current free for all situation which is placing intolerable pressures on all areas or services, housing and depressing wages.
Migration is a good thing, if delivered in a controlled manner, and ensuring that those that come to this country, in return for the benefits that living here provides, adapt and adopt British values and cultural norms. And preventing people discussing it when this is not happening, using ‘Hate Speech’ to prevent these questions being asked, drives the conversation underground, builds up resentment and indeed leads to the rise of the ‘Far Right’.