I WOULD like the opportunity to respond to Elliot Marx’s letter “Tree Saga Will be Litmus Test” (Have Your Say, Echo, March 21).

In her letter she states that Cllr Hall is the only Christchurch councillor to fight for Druitt Hall.

This is not strictly true as both independent councillors on the council have spoken on many occasions in support of the renovation of the existing hall and the building of a new hall.

When Dr Alistair Somerville Ford made his original offer to fund a new hall I asked the leader of the council at a full council meeting why this wasn’t being pursued more vigorously.

It would appear to be the policy laid down by the current Conservative majority on the council that a town centre community centre is not required and, indeed, it states this in the new Core Strategy Document, which is currently under review.

This is against the wishes of the majority of residents in the town centre, Portfield and Jumpers wards.

With regard to the destruction of the trees covered by TPOs, these would have been an issue for questions once the report to the scrutiny committee on the whole planning procedure was discussed by this committee.

This has been prevented at this time by the lodging of a Judicial Review on the Cornfactor planning consent.

As can be seen from other recent articles in the Daily Echo, the Christchurch Borough Council has several very important issues to resolve to the satisfaction of the council taxpayers and residents of this Borough.

As Elliot Marx said, the residents are not stupid and perhaps at next year’s borough elections will vote for an individual rather than the colour of the ribbon they are wearing.

Leader of the Independent Group, Christchurch Borough Council