Couple of planning related snippets from today's Carmarthen Journal; The Council is busy urging people to 'have their say' over the Local Development Plan, with only a couple of weeks to go before the end of the consultation period I suggest, if you can actually locate it on the website, or find it in a local library (if you can find a local library that is) you have a look.
However, with the council's track record on 'listening' to the public failing miserably by the day, another interesting article (Intimidation Row Overshadows Plans to build 13 Homes) illustrates the increasingly undemocratic planning process here in Carmarthenshire and the 500 or so objectors, including the AM, MP, Community Council etc are probably wondering why they ever bothered to put pen to paper. This controversial application has been rumbling along for three years. It also appears that the Head of Planning had declined to sign a decision notice even though the councillors had rejected the application last year. At the meeting, a couple of Councillors accused Mr Bowen, of 'intimidation' as he panicked over a possible rebellion to the recommendation of approval and the council solicitor had to step in to calm things down. Eventually, with the vote split, Cllr Tom Theophilus, with his casting vote, didn't let Mr Bowen down. I heard that as a substitute Chair he had to be called three times before he realised anyone was talking to him and make is way to the front of the chamber to take the Chair.
for more excellent comment on the LDP please have a read of Y Cneifiw's blog;
Local Development Plan comes under fire and
LDP - The fog descends as you Pamper your Pooch
I have frequently mentioned the Council's sometimes questionable use of exempt reports at meeting where the public and press have to vacate the chamber/gallery for 'sensitive' items. The next Executive Board meeting has a corker, of the two items, one is the authority's plans for leisure facilites (selling them off), but the second is an update on the transfer of Public Toilets - obviously top secret stuff.