Dear Editor, The announcement this week by Housing Minister John Healey, that the Government wants to build a 5,000 home ‘eco town’ on green belt land next to Bedworth, is astonishing.

Local Labour MP Mike O’Brien has been falling over himself in recent weeks, trying to pin the blame for Labour’s unsustainable housing plans on neighbouring Conservative councils.

His exact words, I believe, were: “Bogus claims that these are government proposals won’t wash.”

I hope Mr O’Brien had the decency to blush when his … shall we charitably say ’inaccurate’ words … were blown out of the water by the Minister.

The Labour Government not only wants and plans to build up to 5,000 houses on green belt land around Keresley, Ash Green and Corley – it even proposed to pay around £1million to Coventry City Council if they agree to these plans. Thank goodness Conservative city councillors have told the Government in no uncertain terms that they are not interested.

But the question needs to be asked – how much did Mike O’Brien know about these Government plans when he stood outside the City Council offices a few weeks ago with a megaphone and harangued Conservative Councillors for seeking to build on this area of green belt?

Mike O’Brien is a Labour Government Minister. It is inconceivable that he didn’t know what his own Government was planning in his constituency. He stood in front of local campaigners and told them that the Government was not behind proposals to build on their green belt – when this plan for a 5,000 house ‘ecotown’ was burning a hole in his pocket the whole time.

Conservative policy on this is clear.

We do not support eco towns, and if we are elected to Government we will tear up the Regional Spatial Strategies and the central housing targets and allow local councils to decide how many houses to build and where.

It’s called trusting local democracy.

Dan Byles
Conservative Parliamentary candidate for North Warwickshire & Bedworth