I AM appalled at the revelation in last week’s Daventry Express that Daventry Town Council (DTC) has agreed to provide funding of £1,500 for legal fees of Friends of Daventry Open Spaces (FODOS).
This is to disrupt the plans by Daventry District Council (DDC) to develop the Eastern Way playing fields.
DTC has already provided this organisation with £850 of legal funding last year.
If it means so much to FODOS why don’t its members fund their own legal fees?
Even better, if the likes of Councillors Peter Luke and Ron Pursey feel so strongly about this matter, why don’t they donate the funding from their own resources, instead of throwing taxpayers money away on this lost cause?
I object to taxes being used in this politically motivated manner, especially as it was against the advice of their own Internal Auditor.
It is quite clear that any legal challenge to DDC by FODOS will result in further cost to local taxpayers as DDC will have to defend the legal action.
There are a number of questions that need to be answered here.
What is the legal status of FODOS and who are its members?
What connection does this group have with members of the town council?
What accounts/budgets have been produced by FODOS to show how taxpayers’ money is to be used?
There is clearly a need for an inquiry into this decision by DTC to provide funding for legal fees which are to be used to oppose and disrupt the legitimate activities of DDC.
HERE’S an idea. Instead of Daventry District Council and Daventry Town Council wasting our money on legal fees fighting for and against the WaterSpace plans, why don’t they sit down and talk to each other?
The town would be better served by politicians working together and reaching compromises than wasting taxpayers’ cash on petty, legal squabbles.
Both councils have elements which clearly despise the other, and these historic hostilities are corrosive to the town’s interests.
There are several common myths surrounding this development – most notably that the whole town is against it. It isn’t.
A referendum organised by a group wholly against the plans (the town council) was unsurprisingly negative.
It was disappointing that the district council boycotted it rather than putting its case across clearly, but that just highlights how pointless it was.
It is fair to say those living near the site have a justifiable grievance over the volume of housing.
But across the whole town there are plenty of individuals who would like to see Daventry grow and the area could be a prime spot if done properly.
People keep harping on about the outdoor pool – that ship has long since sailed and it’s time to move on and attract new facilities to the town.
The Eastern Way playing fields are not well used – driving past it I rarely see more than two dog walkers.
And just why are the town council hiding behind FODOS anyway instead of fighting it themselves?
It’s worrying town councillors are ignoring legal advice as it opens them up to more legal challenges, and may end up costing tax payers again.
So please, stop wasting our cash on legal fees, put aside petty differences and talk to each other. Make compromises. But most importantly, put the interests of the town above your petty squabbling.
Mr M Cooper