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Letter: We Should All Be Directly Represented In The Planning Process

Published on: 9 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 9 Apr, 2017

From Ben Paton

In the 17th century the English parliament thought it a point of principle that the King (the Executive) should not impose taxes without having to consult parliament and the representatives of the people.

The right to be represented on the decision making body that has the power to impose development on local communities should be as inalienable a right of every English citizen as the right to be represented at central government, when it imposes taxes, or the right to be tried by jury when accused of serious criminal offences.

This proposal to diminish or wholly remove local representation in the planning process is a gross error of judgement. It diminishes transparency and accountability. It will further alienate citizens from government. Those who justify this on the bogus pretext that it will save money should be voted out of office.

Some of them are so involved in the local-government-development-complex that they seem to no longer recognise a conflict of interest when they see it.

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Responses to Letter: We Should All Be Directly Represented In The Planning Process

  1. David Smith Reply

    April 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    We should all be represented on the Planning Committee but certain wards need more representation and protection than others.

    Most controversial applications tend to be in the town centre, in the Holy Trinity, Christchurch and Friary & St Nicolas wards which comprises many conservation areas: Charlottesville & Warren Road, Town Centre and Waterden Road to name a few. I feel that we should have councillors on the committee for these areas.

    Perhaps in areas where less is happening you could have councillors representing two wards.

    Further, I feel that those who are on the Planning Committee should undergo training so they are able to understand the impacts of the application in front of them. The wrong decisions due to lack of understanding or the ability to interpret plans can have serious consequences.

    I have sat through many committee meetings and some of the comments made by councillors are quite worrying.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    April 10, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I think they well recognise their conflicted interest, but they simply don’t care.

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