Wetherby MP hits back at Leeds council claims of playing politics

Alec Shelbrooke MP
Alec Shelbrooke MP

Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke has hit back at LCC after allegations were made that he is playing politics.

Mr Shelbrooke has publicly supported the use of Headley Fields for housing, saying ‘it saves green sites in our villages from over development’ and has the capacity for key infrastructure like education, retail, and health facilities.

However, in the development plan panel discussing housing allocations this week, he was accused of political posturing, painting the council as the ‘bad guys’.

Responding, he told the Wetherby News: “We have all been betrayed by the Labour Party in our area.

“They are happy now to destroy our villages just to get some political gain and what Coun Gruen did was nothing more than political posturing. The fact of the matter is they have said we need to take those houses and I have argued about those figures all the way through, and they are quite happy to destroy all the villages in our area. Let that be absolutely clear.

“The Conservative councillors and I have tried to deal with the horrible hand we have been dealt because housing development on that scale would turn these villages into suburbs of Leeds.”

Mr Shelbrooke added that proposals to build 5,000 houses in the outer north east of Leeds would necessarily impact on the green belt, but that by putting a lot of this development on Headley Fields the overall impact on the area would be less damaging.

In questioning this move, he said, LCC is ‘saying it doesn’t care about the schools and shops and doctors and infrastructure, and that is absolutely appalling and disgraceful.’

He added: “It is clear the Labour Party doesn’t care about the people who live in this area. These are the decisions of LCC and I am exceptionally angry that once again they are using people’s lives for political gain.

“What is disgraceful and reprehensible is that they are playing politics with people’s lives. People don’t now know what is happening and that shows why Labour is not fit to govern.”