The article printed on page 3 last week had several factual inaccuracies, particularly the bottom section, headed: ‘Council vote risks cash loss’.
Firstly, I am not on the planning committee and therefore was not eligible to vote. Eight other councillors voted for the refusal. I was only there as a ward member.
Secondly, all three ward members wrote in to object. I spoke against the application at the meeting and Coun Avery voted against the application. I can’t speak for the others, but I am strongly in favour of local services such as doctor’s surgeries; my objection was made on planning grounds.
Thirdly, I spoke very briefly on the matter at committee. I am glad that this short speech helped persuade the committee members to vote to refuse, but I doubt that it was as powerful a rhetoric as the doctor suggests.
I am sure that all the council members are able to read the application papers, debate the issue and make up their own minds.
I am satisfied that democratic process was followed, and that the applicant therefore cannot blame one person for the committee’s decision to refuse his application. I would hope that, in future, those reporting on planning meetings make sure that they carefully observe who is actually on the committee and voting, as opposed to who is there as a ward member.
EDITOR: In our report, we inadvertently referred to “Coun Slade and other planning committee members”. We admit this does suggest Coun Slade is on the committee and we apologise for the error. We do not believe there are any other inaccuracies in the report.