I am grateful to Councillor John Goodman for taking the trouble to reply to my comments on Conservatives and the planning system (Letters, May 13). Councillor Goodman claims that my previous letter left him bemused. Let me assure him that his reply leaves me equally bemused.

Councillor Goodman is a member of the Conservative Party; he stood as a Conservative against candidates from other parties, and was elected as a Conservative. Yet he invites us to accept that, as a councillor, he acts in an ‘apolitical’ way. I find this hard to believe, and I wonder what those who voted for him, clearly expecting him to act as a Tory councillor, make of it.

Councillor Goodman dislikes my characterisation of Tories as liable to be on the side of developers rather than residents. 

May I offer a couple of examples of what I mean. 

Firstly, the Conservative Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was involved recently in a scandal in which he had a discussion with the developer Richard Desmond, who was angling for a property deal to be nodded through before he would be obliged to pay some £40million to provide some community infrastructure. The minister initially agreed, but was fortunately thwarted by opposition intervention.

Secondly, the current Tory Prime Minister is putting forward a bill which will have the effect of disempowering local authorities and allowing property developers a freer hand to build on green fields.

If Councillor Goodman agrees with the actions of Messrs Jenrick and Johnson, then he cannot be said to be ‘apolitical’, since no Labour or Green supporter would ever sign up to them. If he disagrees with them, then I can’t see how he can be a loyal Conservative. It is impossible to be both a Conservative and ‘apolitical’.

David Martin
Bridge Street, Witham