I should like to claim right of reply to the misleading article written by Peter Christie in the Journal of May 9 as follows.
Mr Christie, all too often gets his facts wrong. In his column, which purports to look at Bideford life, he never misses an opportunity to promote his "ethics of vanity" type of local politics. He is wrong in claiming that in the past, at county council elections, I have been an Independent and Conservative candidate. I was in 2005 a Conservative candidate in Bideford East, but never an Independent.
His reference to Knapp House Marina is wrong, I have never lead support for it. My position on Knapp, as a UKIP candidate in Northam recently was no "flip-flop". If I had been elected as county councillor for Northam, I would have held a poll on any future Knapp application or similar contentious planning matter, and supported the result.
I do not do "political expediency" or make decisions just to be "popular", I only vote on issues after having considered all aspects of the matter in hand, then make an honest decision.
I have attended numerous council committee meetings, where Mr Christie, as a member, spends the entire meeting writing copious notes, then cherry-picks out of context quotes for his "political" column. He gives the impression of a newspaper reporter, rather than of a dedicated fellow committee member dealing with the matter under discussion.
Many times to my knowledge, he has been offered positions on Torridge District Council, only to refuse, one suspects, because he would have to take some responsibility. It's easier to sit there carping and criticising. I challenge Mr Christie, in all his years as a local councillor, to point to one scheme or project he has instigated, and seen through to a successful conclusion as a town or district councillor, because I do not know of any.
CLLR CHRIS LEATHER,