I would like the right of reply to Councillor Jo Burton who has sent two letters to the local newspapers recently to criticise myself and other local people who care about what happens in Dinnington and Anston.
Jo is of course a Labour Councillor and is up for re-election next year in the Anston and Woodsetts ward.
Let me take the points she makes in her letters one by one:
She says she fought hard for our greenbelt. What? Jo, along with her colleagues deliberately kept this off the agenda at Anston Parish Council for months to avoid embarrassing the Rotherham Labour Party.
She tricked a meeting of Anston Parishioners into voting for “no building on greenbelt until all brownfield land is used” despite the fact that this is actually not possible.
There is no “brownfield first” rule any more, that’s why we fought so hard to keep land in the greenbelt Jo!
I have written to Jo to ask her to give me some details of the meetings and “negotiations” she claimed to have taken part in. She has failed to provide any such details or explain why she is making false promises to “those who have directly experienced the housing crisis” (her words) by saying they can have affordable housing if they agree to building on our countryside!
For the hundredth time, the houses will be private! The government is removing the obligation on the developers to provide affordable properties, oops, did she miss that out?
If she doubts any of my facts I challenge her to a public debate, any time anywhere.
She blames all our woes on government cut backs, yet it was still the same when Labour ran the country, and although RMBC’s pot has undoubtedly shrunk we still do not get our fair share of it, that is the point we continuously make!
She actually has the nerve to say we have a great bus service! What happened to the motorway buses, Jo? We now have slow buses only to Sheffield, the place where our young people have the greatest chance of finding work. She says bus companies aren’t controlled by the Council, true, but SYPTE is run by Labour Councillors.
She then goes into a UKIP rant. Can’t help you there Jo, I’m not a member of any political party, but I know UKIP are circling your ward seat like vultures as they recognise a weak person when they see one. The Tories and Independents are thinking the same way too!
I reckon that over the last fours years Jo has cost taxpayers somewhere in the region of fifty grand in salary and expenses (Oh yes, Councillors do get paid, she left that bit out didn’t she!?)
Some of her allowance is then paid to the local Labour party. So when their propaganda leaflets come through your door next time you know who paid for it. Yes, us, the tax payer!
If you think what Jo has done over the last four years is worth fifty grand then by all means I would encourage you to vote for her. If not you might want to look at the other names on the ballot.
Jo and her mates on the Council don’t fight for us, they are like cattle being herded together by their masters in Rotherham, and they always move in the direction of the TROUGH!
Give up your countryside, tell a few fibs to the locals and BING! Another 50k, thank you very much!
Jo’s letter and my own are attached below for reference.
Jo’s second letter, this time in the Guardian.
Jo’s Reply to me