It’s 10 December 2013 and the Westley claim of lies being told door to door is exposed in the brilliant Champion story by Danielle Thompson. She wrote about the “Westley slur on Aughton residents”. It’s been published repeatedly for what was, and still is, an insult to the integrity of a parish.
“Residents are calling for Councillor David Westley to resign – after he called the two-year campaign to keep Parrs Lane in the greenbelt ‘a waste of time’ and alleged that door to door campaigners had told lies. After Colin Atkinson, chairman for the Aughton Residents Group (2012) raised the issue of the formulation of the neighbourhood plan to discuss the future of Aughton at public question time at the Aughton Parish Council meeting on Monday December 9, Lancashire County Councillor Westley, who represents Aughton and Downholland told Colin Atkinson that campaigners had wasted two years talking to the Borough Council.
He said “The campaign was a disaster, lies were told door to door and the campaign was a waste of time.” He then walked out of the meeting at Aughton Village Hall amid shouts that the campaigners had not lied, jeers, and calls for his resignation.
Colin Atkinson described Westley’s behaviour as childish and unprofessional – and said that he expects an apology from Councillor Westley for his ‘unwarranted’ remarks. He said “I attended a meeting about the formation of the neighbourhood plan under the Localism Act with Councillor Westley, Councillor O’Toole and Councillor Grant on Wednesday December 4 and they said that the matter was an issue to be raised with the Aughton Parish Council but tonight Aughton Parish Council asked Councillor Westley to advise on it. He took exception to me mentioning that it could be just four years until Parrs Lane could be built upon and I expect an apology for his unprofessional behaviour“.
Colin Atkinson was exposing this charlatan for what he was, pretending to have knowledge of planning and covering his lack of it with bluster and false accusations against anyone who disagreed with him. And as Colin Atkinson can now claim, Westley himself was wrong. Parrs Lane can legally be built on in one year less than the four years suggested. It was pure male bovine excrementalism, the Westley specialism, his MBE.
Moving on to August 26 2016 in The Advertiser and it is Sophie McCoid reporting on “Democracy trashed” as 150 homes plan goes ahead. Who better to interview than Westley MBE, bleating about the Conservative Group being bitterly disappointed despite it being a Conservative Local Plan in 2013? Westley MBE again, “The Conservatives took the very difficult decisions that were necessary to deliver a robust Local Plan” robust enough to allow a horse and cart to be driven right through it by the Wainhomes barrister ! And “The expectation was land being protected from development until at least 2027” so how did this “expectation” become lawful? As the Planning Director has said “Whilst the Council is, as previously stated, disappointed by the Inspectors decision, it does not consider the Inspector has erred on a point of law, and therefore considers that it has no valid grounds for an appeal to the High Court”.
Perhaps not, but a Judicial Review might be called by a resident. In which case Westley MBE might be appearing on oath. Now that would be a sellout?