Saturday, 10 November 2012

Promoting Sainsbury's...again

According to the last meeting of the Standards Committee, a report was supposed to be presented to last week's meeting of full council on the "promotion of economic growth in the county". The report would contain specific reference to Sainsbury's ambitions to develop stores at Cross Hands and Llandeilo. The Standards Committee had to decide whether thirteen councillors who were members of the Co-op (two had also received contributions towards election expenses), could speak and vote at the full council meeting. The Co-op, had made objections to the two stores.

The report didn't appear at last week's meeting, and we now know that the Leader, Cllr Madge is being investigated by the Ombudsman over the now infamous 'Sainsbury's press release' on the council website.
The minutes of the Standards Committee provide a little more information as to the content of the (as yet unseen) report, which included a recommendation that the full council agree "to request the Welsh Government Minister to determine the ‘call in request’ as soon as possible". 

Despite the council solicitor suggesting that, as no planning decision was being taken, the thirteen should be able to speak and vote, the committee decided that, as there was likely to be considerable debate over the supermarket applications, it would be impossible to control the contributions by the thirteen Co-op members. Their applications to speak and vote were refused.

The question here is not so much about the possibility of opposition from the rank and file of the Co-op Party, whenever the report is aired, but the decision to write the report, after the call-in, which promotes the interests, and planning applications of a private company under the misleading guise of the 'economic' profile of Carmarthenshire.

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