‘Sabotage’ row over Sainsbury’s
8:20am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
CARMARTHENSHIRE county council has launched an astonishing attack on the region’s elected politicians, accusing the Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr MP and AM of “deliberately trying to sabotage” major investment in the county.
In a stunning statement, council leader Kevin Madge claimed it was “inconceivable and inexcusable” that MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas had asked the Welsh Assembly to examine an application by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to build new stores at Llandeilo and Cross Hands.
The county council approved plans for both stores earlier this year.
The authority – in the joint statement with Sainsbury’s – claimed the “call-in” “jeopardised” a £60million investment and 1,200 jobs.
Labelling the comments “outrageous” and “wild and misleading,” a Plaid spokesman demanded Labour leader Madge withdraw what it called a “blatant party political attack”.
Plaid also claimed the statement was an abuse of Cllr Madge’s position as council leader and raised “serious questions about his administration’s relationship with this company.“ The comments of Cllr Madge, in a joint statement with the developer, leave no room for doubt that this Labour and Independent county council is in the pocket of big business,” said Mr Edwards and Mr Thomas in a joint statement.
“This latest politicallymotivated statement from the council’s taxpayerfunded press office will be a slap in the face for the many scores of residents and traders who have contacted us in opposition to the Sainsbury’s developments.
“The minister’s decision [to call-in the plans] also indicates concern about the planning process.”
Plaid’s leader at County Hall, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, slammed the statement as “full of crude and misleading accusations, suppositions about local job creation and wild projections about what would happen if the Sainsbury’s schemes didn’t go ahead”.
In the council-issued statement, Sainsbury’s director Neil Sachdev claimed the plans had received “nearly two years of overwhelmingly supportive consultation with local people and politicians” and “nearunanimous approval” by council planners.
“We are especially disappointed that this investment has been put in jeopardy,” he added.
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