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Letter: Planning Committee Membership Could Be Rotated

Published on: 13 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 13 Apr, 2017

From Howard Moss

Having a councillor from each ward on committee was both fair and democratic, of course all applications have to be decided on a valid planning basis, but local knowledge and representation from within a ward where an application has been made is invaluable.

I proposed to the council’s managing director that they could have a system whereby all 22 wards are still represented (Onslow has two members as it is split political ward) but that on any given committee date, only 15 of the 23 members are required to attend and it would be on a rota basis.

However if an application was from a specific ward then the member for that ward should be given the chance to attend. On major applications such as the former Wisley Airfield, or the railway station, all wards should be represented at committee as it potentially affects the entire borough.

This would not only solve the problem but also free up councillors who are for some reason unable to attend committee the ability to do so.

An alternative is that if Cllrs Spooner, Furniss, and others on the committee who supported this reduction, feel so strongly about reducing the numbers perhaps they should be the first to step down, thereby leaving other councillor who wish to remain on planning the ability to do so.

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Responses to Letter: Planning Committee Membership Could Be Rotated

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 10:54 am

    I agree with your Howard Moss’s comments.

    The cut in councillors in my opinion is not a move forward at all. I can see there will be councillors only looking after their own area, which is wrong.

    The whole of the borough of Guildford should be important to all councillors. We will see what happens in future meetings. I hope the people of Guildford watch or attend meetings and make their feelings known to Guildford Borough councillors.

  2. Ben Paton Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    By choosing to allocate seats to the Planning Committee on the basis of political parties has obviously further politicised a process that is supposed to be impartial and apolitical.

    This still another step by the so-called ‘Conservative’ leadership of Guildford Borough Council to lower standards in public life.

  3. A Atkinson Reply

    April 13, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Let’s make sure it is apoliticised (if that is indeed a word) and let’s have the make-up inversely proportionate to sitting members. What about rock, paper, scissors?

    Time to walk the walk Council.

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