By Haddenham Webteam - 10th February 2016 10:00am
On Tuesday evening, 9th February, Aylesbury Vale District Council cabinet members held their meeting in Haddenham Village Hall. Members of the public were invited to attend, and a small number of Haddenham residents did so. Unfortunately, no members of Haddenham Parish Council were able to be present.
During the first part of the meeting, public attendees were invited to raise any questions they might have with the cabinet. Not surprisingly, the main focus was on the district council's attitude to housing growth in Haddenham and the significance, or otherwise, of our Neighbourhood Plan.
In part response to criticisms of AVDC voiced in this context, the Chairman implied that Haddenham Parish Council might not understand the full scope of its options when submitting comments on planning applications to the district council. As mentioned above, no HPC member was present to respond.
The discussions went on for over an hour, with some passionately held views expressed by Haddenham residents.
Towards the end of this interaction with the audience, and what must have appeared to Cabinet members as a barrage of negative comments, AVDC Chief Executive Andrew Grant asked whether we had any positive comments to offer. There was stony silence!
To those members of the AVDC cabinet who found this response a little puzzling, here's an open letter to help illuminate ....
Dear AVDC cabinet members
Thank you for visiting Haddenham last evening (Tues 09 February 2016).
Tracey Aldworth came across as authoritative, capable and politically astute, and we are grateful for the way in which she engaged with representatives of the Haddenham community.
To hear the Chief Exec searching (in vain) for positive feedback from public attendees illustrates the failure of AVDC to comprehend the complete alienation that many Haddenham residents feel towards the district council.
Michael Edmonds, Carole Paternoster and the rest of the strategic planning committee have done a great disservice to us, in their apparent disregard for Haddenham's Neighbourhood Plan.
We understand and appreciate the considerable pressure for more housing in the Vale and for some growth to occur in Haddenham. We understand also the hierarchy of planning instruments. However, this does not excuse the perceived failure of AVDC to work with us.
Please don't ignore the democratic voice of our local community.
AVDC has a long way to climb back before it can overcome the cynicism that now prevails in Haddenham.