‘Democracy not autocracy’ call as key Hitchin decisions loom

Cabinet met at North Herts District Council's offices in Letchworth on Tuesday.

Cabinet met at North Herts District Council's offices in Letchworth on Tuesday. - Credit: Archant

North Herts District Council has been hauled over the coals by two of its own members and a chairman of a community group for not consulting with fellow councillors and the general public.

During the monthly cabinet meeting held on Tuesday night, Councillor Judi Billing said: “This council is absolutely rubbish at consulting with its members. The council has got to do something about it because we’re the people who liaise with our residents.”

Councillor David Leal-Bennett said: “We need democracy and consultation not autocracy and confrontation.”

Referring to the council’s potential disposal of town centre landmarks Charnwood House and Thomas Bellamy House, Bernard Eddlestone, chairman of the Charnwood Community Management Association, added: “What have officers got to hide by hearing this in private? It does amaze me.”

On the subject of Bancroft splash park, revealed by the Comet last week, the cabinet agreed to splash out on the water play feature.

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Councillor Billing said: “Hitchin likes incremental change rather than master plans. I welcome it.”

Councillor Jane Grey added: “We look forward to developing plans with local users and groups.”

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