LETTER: Plans will increase unemployment

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I will start by saying I was extremely disappointed with the way Ashfield District Council’s cabinet seems to do things. 
As an outsider looking in, at a recent meeting I saw flawed arguments being put forward, which will impact the community forever, yet no one seemed to asked any questions.
It was stated they expect to create 10,000 jobs in the Ashfield area over the next 15 years.

Great, why didn’t anyone ask what present unemployment levels are, and how far will this go to fill the gap?
I can maybe help a little here, I believe on the last Government unemployment figures I heard, it was said that unemployment was below 5 per cent.

But in the same breath that 73 per cent of the workforce were in work.

Now to me, who is someone who actually understands a little about figures, let me tell you that means 27 per cent nationally are out of work.
I am out of work myself, but I don’t appear as unemployed as don’t the majority of people out of work.
We will keep this simple, there are about 2,000 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the area, yet the Government’s own figures tell us real unemployment will be more than five times that amount. Which would mean, 10,000 people actually unemployed in the area.
It would have been nice, if when the spokesman said because of the jobs increase they need to build about 500 houses a year to satisfy these jobs –which actually taking into account the start date if the plan is accepted, equates to about 8,500 new homes – that someone had asked the question, why do we need to build houses to increase the labour market by 17,000 people when we already have 10,000 unemployed in the area?
 Surely all that does is means we are increasing unemployment levels?
I was disappointed no one asked where will access and egress points for some of the sites put forward, and even more dismayed no one asked why some sites that actually scored higher than Mowlands were omitted from the local plan, especially since it was stated the sites were included based on evidence.~
 Now it may be me, but if the evidence points one way, why remove those sites?

Or, if indeed it was evidence based, there will be no problem showing that evidence?
Now, as an observer, I’m extremely worried no one on the cabinet thought enough about their constituents, who they actually are supposed to work for, not some party in London, to ask any of those questions or more?

Nicholas Heath

St Wilfrid’s Drive,