BRADFORD Council’s weakness in leadership is confirmed again by its insistence on listening to advisors who advise against the wishes of what appears to be the majority of the local people.

Advice to build on green belt land is one of these occasions.

It is obvious to everyone that to build on the green belt is far more lucrative than building on brownfield sites. It is also obvious that if the green belt is lost, it is lost forever, but there is another side to this coin which may not be obvious.

If our democracy is to be kept safe, we must not tolerate the growth of private power in the form of paid or unpaid advisors to an elected body because it may come to the point where it becomes stronger and more powerful than the democratic state itself.

Ownership of government or councils by an individual, a group or any controlling power is not democracy. We can see for ourselves that among us today is a concentration of private power without equal in history and it grows daily.

Those of you who are enlightened enough will know that the austerity measures we are facing today are a direct result of interference in government by multinational corporations, banks, developers and other big businesses – it continues and always will. Now they want our green belt land as well.

We have the ballot box, you may say, but as each new councillor or MP is elected they suddenly become party politicians and must toe the party line or face an ignominious career. Only the independent councillor is free to act on your behalf but they can do very little alone, so you must let your voice be heard because silence is consent.

PETER CLARKE Moorhouse Lane Oxenhope