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Shock as planning process pulled apart

Labour is again criticising the culture of concealment at Tory-run South Gloucestershire Council after wholesale changes to the district’s planning processes were published without consultation.

Proposals being put to next week’s Council AGM will abolish the council’s two long-standing Development Control Committees and slash the number of councillors involved in detailed planning decisions by 30%. This comes a year after the Conservatives forced through a Cabinet system which concentrates power in the hands of just 8 members.

Labour is particularly angry that the report containing the proposals falsely claims that the opposition groups had been consulted on the change.*

*UPDATE - Following Labour's complaint the report was re-published with this wording removed.

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Labour Group Leader Councillor Pat Rooney says:

“This is a further example of the culture of concealment at South Gloucestershire Council. It signals the growing contempt that the ruling Tories have for the other political parties.

I would have been perfectly happy to enter a discussion about reforming our planning processes and can understand some of the arguments for it, but the Tories did not see fit to ask us. And to add insult to injury, the report originally claimed that the proposals have been developed in consultation with the political group leaders. This is simply not true.

South Gloucestershire used to pride itself on the mature and constructive way in which it conducted its politics. Sadly, finding out about such a fundamental change without warning shows that the Conservatives have turned their backs on that culture and have replaced it with one of secrecy and arrogance.”

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