MP ‘no power to stop council’

SIR - I have felt the need to write in defence of our local MP, Hugo Swire, regarding the industrial site on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the planning application at the Knowle, as I have noticed, over the last few weeks, a couple of letters suggesting Hugo has been silent on these issues.

There is a reason he has not publically spoken out against either of these developments - he has no power to stop the council. I think it is very unfair for people to align him with the policies of East Devon District Council.

I have been in contact with Hugo about these matters and I am assured that he is very aware of local concern and that he has been in touch with everyone who has written to him.

A Member of Parliament is here to represent us and that is what he is doing. He has raised concerns with East Devon District Council on our behalf, and has recently made representations to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. An MP is not here to adjudicate or dictate to a council on what should or should not be built, but here to ensure a proper process is followed, which from my point of view is what he is doing.

Cllr Christine Drew, Sidmouth