Just three weeks ago, your lead story ‘Government demands new homes’ described a letter Mayor Peter Taylor had received from Conservative housing minister Robert Jenrick, taking Watford Council to task for failing to deliver on the Government’s target of 1,371 new homes to be built in Watford over the past three years. Government figures say that 956 homes were completed during that period.

Last week, as part of the Budget announcements, that same Robert Jenrick announced proposals to ‘get the country building’ by changing planning rules aiming to encourage developers to build upwards, particularly above stations, along with proposals to turn disused commercial and industrial buildings into housing ‘without a lengthy planning process’.

When the latest ‘intouch’ leaflet from Watford Conservative Party hit my doormat this weekend, I was shocked to read that Watford Tories are criticising Watford Council for ‘a huge increase in development over the past few years’ and claiming that the council ‘has repeatedly tried to blame the Government’. Did they not read their own party’s housing policy and budget announcements? The only conclusion I can draw is that far from being ‘in touch’, Watford Conservatives are completely out of touch with their own government’s policy on planning and housing.

The rank hypocrisy of Watford’s local Conservative Party in publishing this misleading propaganda sheet really beggars belief, until of course you remember that they take their cue from a party leader who claimed that Brexit would save £350 million a week for the NHS. I’m told the cheque is still in the post.

Cllr Peter Jeffree

Development management committee chairman

Park Ward, Watford