Did our MP tackle minister?

PUBLISHED: 11:54 29 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

ON Jim Paice s website we can see this headline: Paice Challenges Minister over Mereham Inquiry. South East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice has today challenged Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, about the current plan

ON Jim Paice's website we can see this headline: Paice Challenges Minister over Mereham Inquiry.

"South East Cambridgeshire MP Jim Paice has today challenged Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, about the current planning inquiry into the proposed new town of Mereham, near Ely. Mr Paice said: 'I challenged Hazel Blears as to whether she would consider the outcome of the Mereham Inquiry against the views of the local councils and against the decision only a few years ago to put a new town at Northstowe.'"

Er, actually Jim, you didn't.

According to Hansard you said: "The right hon. Lady will understand that the issue is not just the number of houses to be built-everybody accepts that we need more-but where they are placed. In my constituency, a public inquiry is going on that will end up on her desk and I obviously do not expect her to pre-empt that decision, but can she assure me and my constituents that when she makes a decision on that inquiry it will be based on the current Cambridgeshire structure plan and the decisions, plans and strategies of locally elected people rather than allowing them to be overruled, as was implied by the inspector at the opening of the inquiry, by her objectives for far more houses, bearing in mind that we already have a new town only five or six miles away from the proposed site? Will the Secretary of State assure my constituents that she will judge the situation after allowing for the views of local people rather than simply allowing her figures to overrule any form of local accountability?"

Please point me to the words Mereham and Northstowe.

DAVID LEARNER

Chiefs Street

Ely

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