An East Sussex parish council has slammed its new Green Party district council member for failing to properly represent local residents’ concerns over a controversial planning application.
Citing the failure to refer the contentious Homedene development for decision by Wealden District Council’s planning committee north, the Wadhurst committee has criticised Green district councillor Sarah Glynne-Ives, recently elected to represent Frant & Wadhurst.
They cite her failure to absorb the local draft Neighbourhood plan, the Wadhurst design code, High Weald AONB and Wealden design guides and say that the parish council has “lost confidence” in her ability to represent parishioners.
In a strongly-worded email to the councillor, the committee expressed frustration that the newbie had completely ignored their objections to the development and denied local representation by failing to call in the application.
They also separately raised the novice’s failure to observe precedent that any issues concerning Bewl Water, “a jewel in the AONB”, be called in automatically by the local member for committee scrutiny.
The critical email went on to suggest that she step aside on planning matters in favour of her more experienced Frant & Wadhurst district council colleague, the Conservative Johanna Howell.
Councillor Glynn-Ives, who lives near East Grinstead, has so far declined to respond to the parish council planning committee’s concerns.
Councillor Howell observed: “It is always challenging for a newly elected member who does not live in the area to get to grips with local issues.
“That said, it’s so disappointing to see the Green Party put forward a candidate who has neither the time nor local knowledge to represent the people who elected her to be their representative.
“It’s also been very clear that she doesn’t want to lean on my advice or past experience in planning."
Wealden Conservatives say that this calamitous event to ride roughshod over local views and opinions highlights that the Green Party’s election campaign was all-talk.
“By failing to take an interest in planning matters the Greens have badly let down the Wadhurst community”, said a spokesman.
“By contrast, the Conservatives are delivering to their communities.”
Having failed to respond to the critique over her conduct, Cllr Sarah Glynn Ives failed to show at Wadhurst's council meeting on Thursday where parish councillors were hoping for some answers - or even an apology.