'I did not mislead anyone' - leader
PUBLISHED: 13:02 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:39 26 October 2009
RE-ELECTED council leader John Dean says he was not briefed about the plan to delay regeneration of Hatfield town centre. In the Tory party's pre-election manifesto published in last week's WHT, he stated that developers would begin regenerati
RE-ELECTED council leader John Dean, pictured, says he was not briefed about the plan to delay regeneration of Hatfield town centre.
In the Tory party's pre-election manifesto published in last week's WHT, he stated that developers would "begin regeneration within months".
However, following revelations that no work will start on the site this year, Cllr Dean insisted he was "unaware of the situation".
Speaking to the WHT yesterday, he defended his decision to be definite about when work will begin.
He blamed "fast moving economic changes" for his comments in last week's edition being no longer relevant.
He said: "When we put out the manifesto that is what we believed the timescale was.
"Circumstances have gone beyond our control.
"I have been in an election campaign for four weeks. I did hope something might start this year.
"I did not mislead anyone."
Cllr Dean dismissed claims his lack of up-to-date knowledge about the regeneration was down to poor communication between himself and council officers.
He said: "I was not briefed because there is nothing positive that can be said and I would not want anyone to be guessing.
"My officers did what they felt necessary to keep me informed.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.