Saturday, 14 February 2009

Pro-Business or Not Pro-Business?

Hopeful Conservative candidate for Reading West, Alok Sharma, has run into trouble over a local campaign.

After collecting 896 signatures on a petition against the proposed Pincent's Hill 'sustainable village', Mr Sharma's has managed to simultaneously aggravate environmentalists and the local business community amid accusations of partiality and lack-of-objectivity.

Housing developer Blue Living has responded to the results of a survey conducted by Mr Sharma questioning the Conservative's methodology and their statistical conclusions.

According to Reading West Conservatives, 96% of the respondents are 'concerned about the impact of traffic from any development', 87% are 'concerned about the loss of a green space', 86% are 'concerned about the pressure on local public services such as education', while 82% are 'worried about the impact of development on the environment and wildlife'.

Yet the survey contained no reference to the actual plans for the 37-acre site, so how could they then conclude that 85% of the respondents are against the development, spokesperson Jonny Anstead asked. He admitted the survey did highlight local concerns, but added that plans were in place to increase biodiversity and promote environmentally and socially-sustainable community living.

Mr Sharma is quoted as describing the company's comments as “a cocktail of gibberish”.

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