Fury over Welwyn Hatfield’s ‘no-show’ councillors

TWO WGC councillors have blasted their fellow elected representatives for showing a “depressing” lack of interest in the future of the town.

Liberal Democrats Tony Skottowe and Malcolm Cowan have slammed the “disgraceful” no-show from several WGC councillors who failed to turn up to a meeting on the Welwyn Hatfield Local Development Framework, which sets out the boroughs aims and objectives to 2026, eventually replacing the 2005 District Plan.

The meeting, held on Saturday, November 27 at the Free Church in Parkway, was a discussion on issues such as future housing provision and community needs which are exclusive to WGC, and was the last of five similar meetings to have taken place around the borough.

But despite invites being sent to all 21 WGC ward councillors, only six showed up.

Two of them, Tory councillors Darren Bennett and Roger Trigg, both representing Panshanger, managed half a session each, while Welwyn West ward councillor Mandy Perkins, executive member for planning, also attended.

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Cllr Skottowe, the Welwyn Hatfield Lib Dem leader, said: “The striking lack of interest shown by the elected representatives of WGC is truly depressing. As it turned out the councillors were outnumbered by the planning officers.

“Given the litany of complaints from residents that their children cannot afford to buy in the town and there are few rented properties, either private or publicly owned, it is extraordinary that so few councillors could be bothered to turnout.”

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Cllr Cowan added: “No doubt one or two simply couldn’t be there due to other commitments, but this really is a disgraceful display.”

A spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Council, which organised the meeting, said it may have clashed with councillors’ surgery times. Only Sherrards councillors had surgery that morning, lasting 45 minutes and held nearby at Campus West.

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