IT’S hardly surprising the Conservatives are finding it difficult to recruit volunteers to take on the often demanding role of local councillors.

They hardly covered themselves in glory over the huge Chesterton South development and their government is in total confusion.

Still, it pays to be honest and accurate in describing the local political scene.

Their latest newsletter seeks to distance the Conservatives from our Market Place changes.

But I can easily bring to mind five prominent local Conservative councillors, past and present, who attended meetings of Action Cirencester, which I chaired, following Edward Allsop, now retired from the estate.

This group refined the proposed reorganisation of the marketplace over many years.

The people I am thinking of did not just approve the idea of reducing the traffic but the very details of how it should be done.

It was a genuinely cross-party scheme.

Why are such people turning their backs on it?

The letter also asserts that “some parties ignore their party leadership and irresponsibly campaign locally against house-building for short-term electoral advantage”.

At no point did Cirencester Town Council or the Liberal Democrat Group do anything of the kind.

Indeed we have been arguing for more local housing, especially more cheaper rented and social housing.

Our objection to the sheer scale of the Chesterton development remains as before : too many, too quickly and too expensive.

The Welsh rugby coach used to tell his players: ‘Get your retaliation in first!’ The Conservatives appear to have adopted this for their political rule book.

So the truth suffers...again.

Nigel Robbins

Mayor of Cirencester