New councillor claims credit for defeating housing plan, prompting angry reaction from rivals and residents

  Posted: 11.06.21 at 07:11 by The Editor

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AN angry councillor and residents have turned on a newly elected Conservative member of Thurrock Council after he claimed the credit following withdrawal of a controversial planning application.

Cllr Adam Carter was a surprise winner in the Chadwell St Mary ward at last month’s local elections, overturning a long-held Labour majority in the ward.

Cllr Carter and his supporters mounted a well-planned election campaign, using leafletting as a major tool and this week he used the tactic again, distributing a message to residents following the decision by developers to withdraw an application for up to 140 new homes on green belt land off Lytton Road in the town.

Cllr Carter told residents: “During my election campaign I made a promise to you all to fight this development and it's been a busy first 40 days.

“I'm glad to say it's my first promise kept as a councillor.

“Standing shoulder to shoulder with residents the planning application for 140 homes behind Lytton Road which would of (sic) turned Chadwell into an urban sprawl, the developers were forced to withdraw.

Labour councillors Sara Muldowney and Daniel Chukwu pictured with residents as they collected signatures for a petition against the housing development.

“This does not mean it has gone forever and we must remain vigilant.

“We must be ready to fight this again, united we stand in opposition to this development, divided we fail.

“The Conservative Council will always strive to protect our greenbelt against developers with ill thought out planning applications, if it comes back I will keep my promise again.”

However, his message did not strike a chord with Labour councillor Sara Muldowney who says his claim is false and he is claiming credit for something he did not have anything to do with.

She says: “Chadwell residents are furious following a new Tory councillor, who has claimed developers withdrew the plan for 140 houses on green belt because of him.

“Ashleigh Nelder created a petition and with the support of local residents Sarah Warman, Mel Carey and local Labour councillors myself and Daniel Chukwu, gathered nearly 300 names against the development.

“Having gathered those signatures as a group over just a few days, developers withdrew their plans. Residents were overjoyed until they received a leaflet through their door from the new Tory councillor taking credit for their work.”

Ms Nelder says Cllr Carter’s claim for credit “was like a kick in the teeth” and added: “I was absolutely astounded that he thought this was acceptable!"

“After all the effort I made, looking through planning documents, starting the petition, getting neighbours involved along with the local Labour councillors, I am really upset. He claimed victory for himself and the Conservatives but residents haven’t heard of him or seen him!”

“Claiming the credit is disgusting and selfish. I want residents of Chadwell to know that we, the residents, led the campaign with the support of Sara and Daniel.”

“I hope he apologises and doesn’t take the credit for other people’s work in the future.”

Local opposition to the scheme and a residents’ campaign against it was first highlighted in March last year, long before Cllr Carter’s nomination for the seat previously occupied by longstanding Labour councillor Gerard Rice was announced. Indeed, at the time, Cllr Rice had not even announced his decision to stand down.

The issue was first reported on Thurrock Nub News in March here.

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