7th October 2021
Campaign Update - 7th October 2021
Laura Farris Meeting
Many of you will have attended the public meeting with Laura Farris that was held in the Memorial Hall on 31st August. Thank you to everyone who sent in questions. If you were unable to attend, you missed a positive meeting with Ms Farris listening to our concerns. We are grateful for the support she showed us at the meeting but understand that she is limited in what she can actually do to influence any decision on planning matters such as the one we are fighting. We recognise, however, that it is quite unusual to get MPs to agree to hold meetings like this one on local issues such as planning which is typically the domain of the local council and we are grateful to her for this. We are not sure how much of a difference she can make, but she is still in a position of power and influence, and we are pleased to have her attention on this issue.
She made it clear at the meeting that she would still welcome letters from constituents on this matter but urged us also to write in with further questions, views and concerns to Graham Pask who represents us at West Berks Council.
You may have noticed that we have gone a little quiet since the public meeting. Changes in government policy on planning and the subsequent cabinet reshuffle have meant that phase 2 of the consultation has been delayed. Everything is on hold, which is good news, while we wait to hear what effect a new Minister for Housing and his policies will have on the whole process. Goalposts seem to be shifting…
Despite all this, we know that the issue of the 2,500 houses has not gone away. The Working Group is looking at the implications of the Government reshuffle and how best to continue with the campaign where there are new rules and new stakeholders.
For those who have so generously donated money to the fund to help fight this development, please rest assured that the money is safe and ringfenced for when we will most certainly need it at the next stage.
We will be in touch again soon, hopefully next week when we will be able to share letter we are currently drafting to Michael Gove. In the meantime please do not stop writing your letters of objection to both Laura Farris (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Graham Pask (email@example.com).
Thanks, as always, for your support,
The Working Group