Members of North Warwickshire and Bedworth Conservative Association have denied receiving a donation from developers before the last election. Time for some facts. These facts are public. They can be largely checked on websites.
- Before the 2015 election the then Conservative MP Dan Byles declared in his Register of Interests at the House of Commons, as he was required to do, a donation to North Warwickshire and Bedworth Conservative Association of £10,000 from a company called Dukehill Services Ltd of Dudley Road, Oldbury, West Midlands. The directors of this company included Carl, Lee and Martyn Richardson. The Richardson brothers are between them directors of dozens of companies involved in developments. In fact, they are among the biggest developers in the UK, including building Merryhill Shopping Centre.
- Dan Byles also declared a further donation to the local association of £10,000 from a company called JCB Research Ltd. JCB provides diggers for developers.
- It is also reported that there was a loan received from Matthew Dugdale of Merevale Estates of £10,000. They were involved in planning applications for large developments in Atherstone.
Those are the facts on the donations to local Conservatives. Now here are the facts on the votes of Conservative MPs.
- Dan Byles and his successor Craig Tracey have consistently voted for Conservative planning policy. This includes the National Planning Policy Framework and the 2016 Act.
- Conservative planning policy took many planning decisions out of the hands of the local authority. Councils used to decide where they wanted development and where they did not want it. Under the NPPF it is now the developer or landowner who identifies the land they want to develop and applies for it to be included in the Borough Plan. They tell the Council and the local authority has to decide whether to include that land in the local plan.
- The government also sets a target for the local authority to provide a certain number of houses. This combination has involved a massive shift of power from local authorities to developers.
Now the local facts on say the Woodlands.
- Initially, the Borough Council did not have the Woodlands area in its allocation for housing, despite the landowners seeking permission to develop it.
- The Government Ministers then increased the numbers of houses which the Council had to identify. The Council was then forced to include other areas owners or developers wanted. The Woodlands was then included. In other words, the Woodlands was included when the Conservatives upped the number of houses the Council was required to provide by law.
- In February 2017, the Conservative leaders of North Warwickshire Borough Council and other councils demanded Bedworth takes an even higher allocation of housing. So far, the Labour Councillors have resisted that.
Those are facts. You can check them yourself.
- Now you know why developers have consistently funded the Conservative party – because the Conservative Party has supported developers.
- Craig Tracey has voted one way in Westminster and told you something different in North Warwickshire and Bedworth.
So, three questions for June 8
- Will the local Conservatives repay the money they got from developers?
- Why did developers fund the Conservative Party, but not Labour?
- Who really is your best candidate as MP for the next five years?
The facts speak for themselves. Now it’s up to you to decide how to vote.