Watford MP skips planning vote

Local people have expressed anger after Watford MP Dean Russell failed to turn up for a key vote in Parliament, guaranteeing local people a say on developments in Watford.


Conservative planning reforms are set to make it harder for local people to object to development in towns such as Watford. The plans were a key factor in the Conservative’s stunning defeat to the Liberal Democrats in the Chesham and Amersham by-election. 


Local Lib Dem campaigners in Watford are currently working with local people to oppose developments at Garston Bus Garage and Clarendon Road. 


Whilst Watford MP Dean Russell failed to turn up for the key Parliament vote. All 12 Lib Dem MPs, including St Albans’ Daisy Cooper and Sarah Green of Chesham and Amersham voted to protect local people’s right to a say in local planning decisions. 


Reacting to Dean Russell MP failing to vote on key planning reforms, Watford Councillor and former Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats, Ian Stotesbury, said “Planning was the key issue for many local residents at the recent elections in Watford. The Lib Dem success in Chesham and Amersham shows just how unpopular these Conservative reforms are.


“Watford needs a local MP who will stand up for us on the issues local people care about. Watford’s MP didn’t bother to show up on this key issue and local people will rightly feel let down.


“More homes are needed across England but you can’t give developers a free pass to build wherever they want. We need a Government that understands that homes must come hand in hand with infrastructure such as rail, health and education.


“Watford Liberal Democrats will always speak up for local residents’ rights to have a say on what homes get built where. If you agree – join us.”



  • The motion in Parliament read:


“That this house believes planning works best when developers and the local community work together to shape local areas and develop necessary new homes; and therefore calls on the Government to protect the rights of local communities to object to individual planning applications.”


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