Getting traveller site process right

SIR - On April 5, I wrote to the Leader of Central Beds Council, Councillor Patricia Turner, asking her to come back to me confirming that the following 10 points are correct and will be adhered to in any future search, recommendation and selection for th

SIR - On April 5, I wrote to the Leader of Central Beds Council, Councillor Patricia Turner, asking her to come back to me confirming that the following 10 points are correct and will be adhered to in any future search, recommendation and selection for the process of choosing gipsy & traveller sites :-

l Public opinion will be counted in any meaningful process as it was claimed to be in your publications/website.

l All objections containing planning, highways and environment issues will be taken into account.

l G and T rejection reasons will be taken into consideration.

l Any future consultation process will be adhered to and not altered to suit council or councillors.

l A strict criteria of selection and suitability will be agreed in advance of the next proposed site list.

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l Only the full council can finally approve the sites after adequate consultation with public and executive committee.

l That officers are reminded that they are there to provide facts and not to tell a committee what they should do.

l That committee chairmen are there to ensure the meeting is conducted to acceptable standards.

l That committee chairmen can offer their opinion, but can not take unilateral and undemocratic decisions.

l That 'mistakes' that have occurred in the past will be rectified and will not be repeated and that power and authority will not be abused.

I am still waiting for her to give me straightforward answers to these straightforward questions; why the delay?

It does not help that the committee in question, the local development framework, that makes recommendations, meets currently 'behind closed doors' and is not open to public scrutiny; in future it must be.

I get the distinct impression that this council and its councillors considers all is well 'in Gotham City'; it sadly is not.

JOHN CLARKE

By email

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