LAMP should look closer to home

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My previous letter, which simply attempted to summarise factually where most credit should be ascribed for brokering the compromise behind the January 6 planning approval for Leamington LAMP activities on Riverside, has sparked an outraged response from LAMP director Timothy Ellis, asking why anyone would want to take credit for ‘bludgeoning Leamington LAMP ... into its current sorry state’.

I think, however, that he should distinguish between credit for work done in helping to broker a deal, which is what I was addressing, and responsibility for difficulties that LAMP may now be facing.

In addition to ward councillor Bill Gifford and a number of district council officers, I could have given more explicit credit to the WDC officers and councillors, who went to extraordinary lengths to facilitate LAMP’s continued activities. In particular, I am thinking of the personal intervention made by the planning committee chair, which set up negotiations when things looked bleak for LAMP, and of subsequent interventions by him and by very senior district council officers, who took significant amounts of time out of undoubtedly busy schedules to participate personally and keep discussions going.

With respect to responsibility for the nature of the compromise and its details, however, I think LAMP managers need to look closer to home. Their planning application, including the proposed closure times, was drawn up by LAMP and signed off by Timothy Ellis himself.

What happened at committee, therefore, was that Timothy Ellis’s application was supported by Cllr Gifford and by local residents for whom he was speaking. The LAMP planning application was passed overwhelmingly by the committee, without amendment and with no added conditions.

A rather surprising attempt by a LAMP spokesperson to undermine the agreement by asking for late changes to the terms of their application was quite properly ruled out.

Responsibility for any ‘bludgeoning of LAMP’ or any consequent inability to operate would seem, therefore, to be mostly ascribable to LAMP misjudgment or mismanagement.

David Wright, via email