Letters – Let local people decide on important local issues

Dear Editor,

The plans by Persimmon Homes to build 1,260 new homes in Hartlepool is exactly the type of development that should be the subject of a local referendum.

Under UKIP proposals referenda would be held for just such controversial applications so that local residents’ views are paramount and not just ignored in a “consultation”.

A binding local referendum would be triggered by the signatures of 5 per cent of electors within a planning authority area collected within three months.

This particular application in a South West Extension development has led to serious concerns being expressed by the Fens Residents Association on a number of grounds, including lack of need.

There is a housing shortage nationally, partly fuelled by uncontrolled immigration, but that does not mean that the views of local residents should be ignored and nor should green belt land be imperilled.

Yours faithfully

Jonathan Arnott MEP

Statement on TTIP

I have received literally thousands of emails and letters from members of the public about TTIP. Without a single exception, they have raised concerns about this proposed trade deal between the European Union and the USA.

I share most of these concerns. I am concerned about the potential threat to our NHS, to other public services, that our government could be overruled in lawsuits from private investors, and a small businesses may not get a level playing field.

I support the principle of free trade but what is on the table is not really a free trade agreement; it is a corporatist trade agreement.

After much consideration I have therefore come to the conclusion that I must vote ‘NO’ to TTIP in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

My constituents can be assured that I will, however, be supporting amendments tabled by UKIP and others (including Amendment 27) to mitigate the worst aspects of TTIP, should it eventually come into force.