Labour MP Docherty brands local Community Council as snobs and nimbys

Thomas Docherty has courted controversy since he was elected as Labour MP for Dunfermline and West Fife in 2010. He certainly has a novel approach to winning friends and influencing people.

First of all, he had a go at certain of his fellow MPs whose attire, he felt was too casual for the Commons.

Then he was a leading voice in the campaign to have a statue of Tony Blair at Westminster.

During my four years working for Willie Rennie when he was Dunfermline’s MP, I can safely say that neither of these issues were ever raised with him by one single person in the constituency.

Now  he has insulted the Community Council of the beautiful coastal village of Limekilns, branding them snobs and NIMBYs for objecting to a potential development of almost 4000 houses near their village. In the Dunfermline Press, he furiously declared:

They are a bunch of snobs who oppose every single development in West Fife. It’s quite clear they are anti-dockyard and NIMBYs. If they had their way there wouldn’t be any jobs in West Fife.

The Community Council hit back at the MP, saying that:

 We are disappointed that, as someone who was appointed to represent local people through the democratic process, Mr Docherty has expressed such strong opinions without ever raising the matters with us. If pushing for inspiring, well thought-out communities for local people makes us snobs, then we will embrace that label as a badge of honour.

The Community Council had objected to the draft plan for housing because of the mistakes that had been made by the then Labour administration of Fife Council in the planning of a similar expansion to the east of Dunfermline. Labour had sold off the land for a third primary school in the area for more family housing which unsurprisingly resulted in huge difficulty for local residents with changes in school catchments and young children having to be bussed to the next town for two years while land for a new school was sourced and it was built.

Another concern was the road network in the area. The junction leading to Limekilns was investigated for inclusion in a programme called Britain’s killer roads and another route to Dunfermline has seen a number of fatalities in recent years. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that the Community Council had concerns about the plans for a massive expansion on their doorstep.

An MP with any sort of understanding of the issues on his patch might have thought twice before launching such an extraordinary attack on a community organisation.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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