No resignations over Plan failure

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Winslow District Councillor Llew Monger said the failure of the Vale of Aylesbury Plan is ‘not just a mess – it’s a scandal’, as he called for the resignation of the cabinet member responsible.

At a special meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) on Monday, Mr Monger proposed the motion calling for Carole Paternoster, cabinet member for strategic planning, to quit after an inspector declared Aylesbury Vale’s development plan ‘unsound’.

But members of the controlling Conservative group refused to take responsibility for the debacle,instead blaming central government for ‘moving the goalposts’.

Lib Dems were also criticised for calling for the suspension of top officers, including the head of planning and chief executive, who earn more than a combined £190,000.

This request was withdrawn but the move was labelled ‘disrespectful in the extreme.

The inspector said the Vale of Aylesbury Plan was inadequate because the housing target, 6,000 homes on top of those already approved, was too low and that the council had failed to co-operate properly with nearby authorities.

Mrs Paternoster said: “It’s essential that all AVDC members work together to achieve the best possible outcome for residents of the Vale. This very divisive motion will not help us achieve this aim.”

Mr Monger offered to take part in an all-party group to oversee the development of a new Vale of Aylesbury Development Plan, reporting directly to full council.

He said he understands the head of planning is to leave in the spring and a proposed reorganisation would see the loss of 11 jobs in the planning department.

And he pointed out this will happen just as the Vale is about to come under renewed pressure from developers.

AVDC will debate withdrawing the Vale plan and making a new one at a meeting on February 5