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Prescott's "no" to The Citizen

The Citizen’s calls for a public inquiry over a controversial redevelopment of Gloucester Cattle Market have fallen on deaf ears at the very top of the Government.

A plea direct to deputy prime minister John Prescott under a front page headline: “Dear John, Are You Listening?” was answered with a conspicuous silence – and then a reply after more than a fortnight.

City MP, Parmjit Dhanda, delivered the July 9 edition of the paper to Mr Prescott’s office in a sustained effort to reverse the decision.

The reply to the Gloucester Citizen from the deputy PM said simply that the public inquiry would proceed as planned in October, despite calls from the paper and local councillors for a rethink.

The Citizen had argued that there was no need to hold a public inquiry over the planned work because “no-one was objecting to the scheme”.

It went on: “The cost to the developer alone is £500,000.

“The leaders of all three political parties on the city council have signed a letter to Mr Prescott saying the scheme was non-controversial, and no-one was objecting, so an inquiry was a waste of time and money.”

The Citizen is now asking why Mr Prescott took so long to reply to the original letter.

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