Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 4, 2017

The Strange Case Of The Aughton Nimby Gossip

Being an open minded group brought together by adversity, the Aughton Residents’ Group 2012 campaigns largely against the proposed use of Aughton’s finest agricultural land for housing development, Parrs Lane  being the crux of the unpleasant proposal by Aughton’s own elected representatives in their Local Plan to develop land there with 400 dwellings.

Some residents of Aughton find themselves represented by obnoxious individuals chosen by political parties, whipped into group decisions. They are seen as anathema to localism, such as when petitioners against the Parrs Lane housing development were accused by one of them of “telling lies door to door”.

So it comes as no surprise to hear local gossip from a social event in Aughton, during which the wife of a local councillor was heard in conversation with a lady who had complained that someone signing with a name very similar to hers had written a letter to the Champion in favour of the proposed development at Parrs Lane. Many friends of that lady had assumed it was her who had written the letter and had castigated her for her apparent views. The upshot was that she wrote a letter to the Champion in which she said that the earlier letter was not from her and indeed expressed an opinion directly opposed to hers. Both these exchanges have appeared on West Lancashire Record, on 19th January and 3rd March.

However, and this is the most interesting bit, “local councillor’s wife” then said that many people were in favour and indeed said there were people in that very same room who were in favour. Witness and the genuine Aughton resident were astounded by this assertion. Witness therefore took it upon himself to talk to everyone in the room and ask them their view on the Redrow/Wainhomes appeals. Not one was in favour, not surprisingly, and when this was reported back to “local councillor’s wife” by way of correcting her, she was “not prepared to give ground”.

The report goes on to say that “since this was now a topic of conversation he brought up the subject of a local councillor (not her husband) calling the ARG group “Nimbys” to a planning officer as if to suggest they were not worth paying attention to which was also brought up in a letter to the Champion. ARG were actually in good company because both the NFU opposed the loss over the “best and most versatile land ” to development and the Council for the Preservation or Rural England were constantly banging the drum against Green Belt/Green field development whilst brown field sites were available, Skelmersdale being the obvious candidate. Her reply was that local Councillors had no influence on the planning officers!!!! So why say it, was his response.

Writer suggests he is “now in no doubt whatsoever that ARG can expect more of the claims that we don’t represent even a majority of local people, reference the anonymous letters in the Champion and so they can claim that if the appeals by Redrow and Wainhomes eventually succeed then it is OK because that is the local view. To hell with the fact that this land is “safeguarded “AGAINST development until 2027 unless the exceptional circumstances of a significant shortfall in delivery develops which we are assured does not seem to be the case at the moment”.

Witness thinks “we may have to consider another round of evidence gathering from the affected residents in order to correct this invidious coordinated campaign and more letters to the Champion putting our point of view. Quite who is behind this orchestrated campaign I think we all know and therefore I would be very keen that the sudden vacancy left by Ms Bailey’s unexplained resignation should not be filled by yet another compliant [ie party whipped] person”. And quite right too!


  1. People must move on from criticising them and put up as a candidate.

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