LDF failure claims ‘petulant and childish’

The leader of Kirklees Council has lashed out at previous administrations for their failure to anything about the LDF when they had the chance.

Labour leader Mehboob Khan has accused the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats of failing to “grasp the seriousness” of the Local Development Framework then they were in office.

But Lib Dem leader Kath Pinnock has hit back at Coun Khan, calling his claims “petulant and childish”.

Coun Khan claimed the other parties had been quick to criticise the council after government inspectors refused to endorse the LDF, which was put forward by the Labour group earlier this year.

He added: “They forget that, whilst running the administration in 2004, the Lib Dems wouldn’t touch the LDF with a barge pole. In 2007, the Conservatives wouldn’t go near it either.

“Labour councillors believe that the current situation could have been avoided, but the failures of the past administrations to grasp the seriousness of the LDF has led to the situation the council now finds itself in.

“It took the Labour administration of today to take on the LDF plan and try and rescue Kirklees from a situation that need never have occurred.”

But Coun Pinnock said the Labour administration had five years to get a plan together. She added: “He is seeking to transfer responsibility on a matter of huge concern for local people.

“There has been a lack of decision making and leadership by Mehboob and his colleagues.”

Conservative leader Robert Light said: “He is passing the buck. Five years he has had to get a plan approved and he has completely messed it up. It has been a fundamental disaster for Kirklees.” Coun Light also said that if the Tories had remained in power after 2008, a plan would have been ready to go by 2009.

Council officers are currently working on a replacement for the LDF.