A TORY council leader has dismissed suggestions he should resign from the party in protest against the Government’s housing targets.
Wycombe Labour said it is no good Conservative councillors ‘crying crocodile tears’ and ‘slavishly carrying out policies they disagree with’ - urging them to cross the floor ‘if they care about Wycombe’.
It comes after Cllr Richard Scott, the Tory Leader of Wycombe District Council, said he had been told to "go away and get on" with the Local Plan by government minister Eric Pickles MP after raising concerns.
Cllr Scott laughed off the Labour call to quit as every local authority around the country was facing the same housing predicament.
He said: "I am flattered the Labour party has said I would be welcome to join them but that is not my party.
"It is something we have to do to address the need and every council has been asked to come up with plans so we are responding to that.
"We are also faced with the challenges of our topography, as we have large Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt land so it makes the task of finding suitable sites for development more difficult.
"But as I understand it, Sir Michael Lyons has been employed by the Labour party to look at a similar [housing] roll out so it would be no different [with a Labour government]."
Wycombe Labour Leader Cllr Ian Bates said the party is not drawing up plans similar to the coalition government - pointing to its proposals to release Brownfield sites and introducing a ‘use it or lose it’ power for local authorities in a bid to discourage land banking.
He added: "It’s no good Richard Scott wringing his hands and saying it is all the Government’s fault. It’s no good him crying crocodile tears and saying Mr Pickles is forcing him to do what he thinks is wrong.
"If he and other Tory councillors think the Government’s policies are wrong and they feel strongly about the effect of the Government’s policies on Wycombe, they would resign.
"If they stay in the Tory Party slavishly carrying out policies they disagree with, voters can draw their own conclusions."
He also took a shot at Liberal Democrat members campaigning against the development of the Gomm Valley - one of five reserve sites expected to be released for development by WDC.
Councillors joined protesters on a walk around the valley at the weekend (see page 4).
Cllr Bates said: "It is no good Lib Dem councillors leading rambles through the reserve sites while their party centrally supports these policies to the hilt.
"If they think the Government’s policies are wrong they would resign from the Lib Dems."
Cllr Trevor Snaith from the Liberal Democrats said: "The problem we have got is no matter which party, including Labour, they are all saying we need to be building more homes.
"The debate we should be having is where the homes should be and where and how we get the necessary infrastructure in place.
"Also the priority needs to be to get the social housing we need. We have more than 2,500 people on the social housing waiting list in this district.
"Had we still had our council properties we could have looked at building new homes in the district for the local people to meet short term housing needs.
"Unfortunately both the Labour group and Conservatives signed and voted for the local council houses to be sold off to Red Kite."
The tenant led transfer to Red Kite was back by Tory councillors but not one Labour councillor voted in favour of the proposals.
WDC is expected to publish a summary of the findings from its Local Plan public consultation at the end of October.