What's happening in the Powys Planning Service. There seems to be a sudden breakout of efficiency. Two people who have been tearing their hair out in frustration, waiting for a decision, have telephoned me to say that the approval notice arrived this week. Regular visitors will have read about my involvement with what I've been referring to as local 'Agents' who have been tamping about what they regard as an unacceptably slow service. Well, this blog fearlessly reports it as it hears it.
Had two other calls relating to this issue today from Motgomeryshire Councillors. Following the 'Agents' meeting a few weeks ago where there were '30 Angry Men', a successful meeting (forum) was held with the Council's 'Planning First Team'. The messages emanating from the 'Forum' were encouraging. But what matters is translation into 'action'. The campaign goes on. And the 'Agents' next step was to invite all of Montgomeryshire's Councillors to a meeting to outline their concerns - on Feb 11th. The invites went out. Then this week all the Councillors received the following letter from their legal department.
Re; Meeting called by agents regarding planning matters at Montgomery on Febuary 11th.
I have been made aware that Councillors in Montgomeryshire have been invited to attend the above meeting.
My purpose in writing has been to remind Members of both the Planning Committee and the Employment Committee that should they attend this meeting then this may create difficulties for them in their future roles on these committees.
I am sure members of these two committees will understand the potential for future conflicts conflicts of interest connected with attending this meeting.
Immediate reaction was that this was like something out of a James Bond film. But my considered reaction is that its good advice. If I was a councillor, I would still go to the meeting, but I'd discuss it with Mr Meredith first - and be ready to walk out if any inappropriate discussion starts. There will need to be a strong Chair. Now the last time I turned up at an Agents meeting I was asked to chair it. I think it would be wise of me to be ready on the 11th - just in case I'm asked again. Any discussion that relates to specific applications or to specific employees will have to be ruled out - if the Councillors are not to be compromised. But this letter does tell us something about the world we live in though.