[Update]: They have now doubled down with a claim that despite promoting the unnecessary new town, they are really protecting green fields. [/Update]
A local person has been in touch highlighting more Lib Dem Fake News. There are a number of issues with their latest General Election Leaflet:
- Now supporting the Shapley Heath Garden Village, when they claimed credit for it being struck out of the Local Plan
- Denying that there’s capacity for 10,000 houses at Shapley Heath
- Getting Hart’s housing requirement, supply and timing of planning decisions wrong
- Another Lib Dem fake bar chart
The full leaflet can be found here. Details of their fake news claims are shown below. If anybody finds fake news from other candidates please do get in touch.
Lib Dem Fake News: Shapley Heath
Regular readers will remember back in March, the Lib Dem district council candidates were claiming credit for saving Winchfield from the unnecessary new town.
Their latest leaflet for their candidate standing in the general election is trying to justify why we need the very same development.
This is quite a turnaround in just a few months. They don’t seem to be able to make their minds up.
Lib Dem Fake News: 10,000 houses
They are also claiming it is ridiculous to say Shapley Heath is going to be up to 10,000 houses.
The leaflet doesn’t mention that Graham Cockarill is in fact the Hart Cabinet member for Place (aka Planning). He oversaw the Council’s bid for Garden Community funding. The Vision Document that was part of the bid, clearly states the developers are looking to put 10,000 houses on the site.
And the bid itself talked of a development up to 10,000 houses.
If a candidate denies what is in their own documents, we can’t see how they can be fit for office.
Hart Housing Requirement, Supply and Planning decisions
The leaflet claims Hart’s housing requirement up to 2032 is 388 dwellings per annum. In fact, after review by the Inspector, the requirement form 2014 to 2032 is 423 dpa. This is because Hart has agreed to take some of Surrey Heath’s requirement.
As part of their justification for continuing with Shapley Heath, the say Hart needs a 5 year land supply. It is true that local authorities need to maintain a 5-year land supply. But Hart currently has around 9 years supply. They also imply that Grove Farm was granted planning permission during the Conservative administration. In fact, the appeal was granted in October 2017, when the Lib Dem/CCH coalition were in power and Mr Cockarill was Cabinet member for Planning.
Lib Dem Fake News Bar Chart
Of course no Lib Dem leaflet would be complete without a misleading bar chart. This one is no exception. The leaflet says that NE Hampshire is a two-horse race and the Lib Dems are snapping at the heels of the Tories to win the seat.
They don’t mention their council coalition partners Community Campaign Hart in the bar chart. If they did, it would show that the Lib Dems are in fact in third place in terms of seats on Hart District Council. They also came a distant third, behind Labour, in the 2017 General Election with only 12.3% of the vote. Here is what their bar chart should have looked like.