Friday, September 4, 2009

Planning at Ten Minutes to Midnight

The East Area Committee met at 7pm last night and, as usual, the planning applications were heard well after the 9pm watershed. Yesterday was quite good in its own terms, not reaching the 11.50pm closure time of a previous one.

Added to the late-night nature of the meeting, you then have the perplexing system that forces those councillors who have taken public views to vacate their places at the table while others remain to deliberate. It certainly gives a new meaning to the term ' silent majority. ' This depleted group then goes through the items, trying to finish the meeting before midnight. The applicants and their opponents will have sat for several hours to reach this point to watch a decision go through on a handful of votes.

Politicians have little credibility today. The planning system that Liberal Democrats oversee in Cambridge does nothing to boost public confidence in quality of the decisions.

We need to set time frames that are realistic and reassure the public that the applications are taken seriously. The decisions should be taken at a forum where they don’t rely on a handful of votes from members who have had nothing to say.

No comments:

Post a Comment