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Friday, 18 October 2013

PLANNING DEPARTMENT....ANTI RESIDENT

The burning question...who leaked Cllr Mosley's resignation to Labour?

ATKINSON




The Dame's revolutionary friend, Monsieur Bob Robespierre passed her Cllr Atkinson's prescient speech. 

The Dame senses a revolution brewing and demands the head of the useless Warrick...a man who treats those he represents with unveiled contempt.....

Cllr Robert Atkinson’s planning speech 16 Oct 2013
Agenda item : 7ii para 1 and appendix A
Mr Mayor ( MM ) If I were as unpopular and had taken as much stick from residents and the media as our Planning Department and its Political Masters have done recently I would hesitate to be spending  precious time tonight remodelling aspects of our Constitution as it applies to the structure of  the Planning Committee.   
I will forebear the obvious cliché of deckchairs and the titanic and I am pleased to see the phrases “perception of the committee”  “and fairness and opportunities to address the committee in person” quoted in the paper. But MM whatever this paragraph may say, the reality is the exact opposite of these words. 

We are in fact in the Orwellian world of Kensington Planning proposing to be more unfair to residents and to reduce their opportunities to speak to us.

MM in sitting on the Planning Committee, such is the growing tide of anger of residents at our smug impotence that there are times when I fear for our safety. And if things continue as they are I fear that next year we will have to amend our procedures again to appoint bouncers to protect councillors and officers alike from the fury of residents

MM there is no one more aware than I of the limited powers that this council has in determining planning applications but MM the very least that we can do is to treat our residents with respect and to hear their objections in full.

Crucially the recent innovation of requiring speakers to confine their remarks to 3 minutes is neither fair, respectful nor workable.

MM we owe it to our residents to allow them time to make their case and if this requires the Council to have more frequent Planning Meetings then I cannot be the only planning member willing to hold more frequent meetings?

MM the point at which my disquiet with our new restrictions has come to a head was to have sight of an e mail to a ward councillor confirming to him that he would be allowed to address the planning meeting but that his contribution would have to come out of the total of three minutes that is to be allocated to objectors. This on a planning application to which more than 700 people have objected!

MM frankly I do not believe that the majority of councillors are aware that their right to speak to the planning committee on behalf of their residents is in future to be limited by an officer with a stop watch.

Of course it goes without saying that representations to committee need to be balanced and proposers and objectors need to have equal time. But when residents feel strongly about a planning matter they and their Councillors have a right to be heard in full. And it is surely a red rag to a bull when residents hear the Chair assuring Committee Members that he has been assured by officers that all will be well and that we should not concern ourselves about the disputed detail of a planning case.

MM this Council needs to think again about how we treat our residents when they exercise their democratic right to make representations in Planning Committee. We may be restrained in our decisions by planning law and by the ever increasing dictates of central government , But the way in which we in RBKC conduct our Planning Meetings is within our gift and , to  borrow a current  phrase from Ed Miliband,  “ Our residents deserve better “

MM at the beginning of our proceedings tonight during prayers some of us heard the call of the prophet Micah “to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God “    
MM it is probably too much to ask for tender love in the proceedings of our Planning committee but we can certainly walk a little more humbly and be seen to act justly when we meet in Council with our residents.


6 comments:

  1. Cllr Atkinson is happy to treat Horton St like a private club along with other members of the Labour Group.
    He has sat on the Planning Committee for ages and never raised a squeak about it's completely unethical methods.
    Only makes a noise when the puffed up ego of his fellow Councillors are threatened by the same time curbs he has been happy to enforce on ordinary residents for years. Pathetic.
    Time for a clean sweep and Emma Dent Coad to take over and return some dignity back to Labour.

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  2. What an ugly picture

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    1. You think so? Clearly you have not seen a snap of the dear old Dame

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  3. Planning in the Rotten Borough routinely benefits certain applicants.

    Due to vastly inflated local property values, it's also overwhelmed by the number of applications - 5,000 last year.

    One of Mr Bore's predecessors once demanded to know if I expected 'a one size fits all' planning system. Yes. It's known as a level playing field.

    Even with the best of intentions, the planning committee is made up of amateurs, reliant on officers with their own agendas.

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  4. How I miss the days of the pervert ex councillor and mayor Barry Phelps when he was chairman of Planning and Mr French, Director of Planning....what a theatrical couple, always pretending they couldn't bear each other, yet 'insiders' say that in reality they were as thick as thieves....not suggesting they were thieves. But why did a humble and very unsuccessful financial journalist like Phelpsie need so many off shore bank accounts?

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  5. Mike French and Phelps might have appeared to be as thick as thieves but French was a man of integrity, he was saddled with someone he really didn't like but he was wiser than to show it. I'm sure he rubbed his hands when Phelps was ousted.

    As for Warrwick, I think he's second only to Moylan in terms of dislike by officers. He's ignorant and thinks the best thing he can do to cover that over is to be confrontational and arrogant. He certainly succeeds on both those scores which only serves to demonstrate his ignorance completely. When talking to him I always felt I would rather be scaping him off my shoe back in to the gutter than having to speak with him, or rather be talked at. This is demonstrated all the more when you have many members who are an absolute pleasure to deal with, they listen, things are discussed and sensible conclusions reached which are often not what either party thought of beforehand. That is how it should be of course but there is the small band of Moylans and Warrwicks and a few more who really don't know the depth of their own ignorance.

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