HAVING been surprised by reading various ill-informed criticisms directed recently at our MPs Priti Patel and John Whitingdale I felt a reaction was needed, with some truths to put the record straight.

I assure readers that am not giving a party political message when I state that we in the Maldon district are lucky to have two of the finest MPs in Westminster.

Now that is a statement based on facts and my personal experience in local government for more than 40 years as an officer, parish and district councillor.

I still recall the period when I worked closely with both MPs, from the time they were first elected, as they both assisted and supported me in my long battles with ministers, civil servants and their departments, and the notorious Planning Inspectorate, over a number of years.

I still have the correspondence which shows how one has to fight through “bureaucracy” at that level (which appears to be endemic in the civil service.).

With such strong help and support I began to achieve results for myself and the public, as Priti and John both took my letters and arguments direct to ministers, who then actually personally wrote back to me.

Our two MPs are true representatives of the people regardless of any political persuasion. In my experience and knowledge, they have never refused a request for assistance at any level from me or the public.

As I have said we are extremely lucky to have them both.


Robert J S Long MBE

Former Maldon District Council chairman