Both Andrew and I also made a presentation to the Parish Council tonight. The meeting was also attended by members of the family who own Par Petroleum so a healthy debate ensued about the facts of our campaign and the relevance of it to the application submitted to the Council. They felt that we had 'demonised' their family with the information which we had distributed. We stressed that in no way had we done that; all we had done was alert people to the application and encouraged them to make their own minds up and object if they so wish as we felt that Durham County Council had failed to do this.
The outcome of the debate was that a motion was passed by the Parish Council to write to the County Council and object to the planning application.
After the meeting we had a civilised chat with the family members where we further discussed the reasons for our objection. We also made it clear that if there were indeed other materials being distributed then it was NOT our doing and we wished to disassociate ourselves from it.
Finally we would like to remind people that we have a residents meeting taking place in Fence Houses Community Centre on Monday 14th May starting at 6.30pm. We have invited our elected representatives - MP Kevan Jones, local Councillor Audrey Willis and members of the Parish Council so that they may hear people's views. Andrew and I would like to stress that this is a private meeting that we have convened for local residents - it is not a public meeting. We will therefore not engage with any representatives from Par Petroleum during this session as we do not feel that it is our responsibility to provide such a forum for debate.