In a recent Conservative election leaflet, I was shocked to read that despite the Conservative government trebling Watford’s housing targets over the last few years, Watford’s Conservative MP is now trying to claim credit for those targets not having gone up any further (or being ‘frozen’ as the leaflet claims).

This is wrong on many counts. Even if true it would be a bit like an arsonist claiming credit for calling the fire brigade. But it’s not true. In fact just the opposite. Housing targets are set by an algorithm prescribed by the Conservative Government. Last year the Government proposed changing this in a way that would have helped Watford, by reducing our target from 787 to 533 a year. But a backbench rebellion by rural Conservative MPs led to this being scrapped and Watford’s higher target was reinstated. So our housing targets have been trebled and Watford’s MP has missed an opportunity to get them lowered.

There is something dishonest about a Conservative government demanding more development in Watford, and writing to the council saying the town is not building enough new homes, while local Conservative activists blame the council for levels of development that are the direct result of their own Government’s demands.

Cllr Peter Jeffree

Park Ward, Watford Borough Council