Wednesday 19 September 2012

Officers' Reassurance to Councillors

I have lost some sleep overnight mulling over an issue. I do not reveal contents of advice and guidance given to Councillors readily.  I could take the approach that others take - which is to leak correspondence when it suits me, but it is not my style.

However, I have decided that it is in the public interest to reveal that on 6th September officers sent an email reassuring Councillors about concerns that had been expressed (including by me) about the handling of the Whittlesey supermarket planning applications after the decisions of 29th August.

That advice included this specific quote:

" I would like to reassure Members that there is no intention to re-open the debate with regard to considering the principle of the applications."

The decision taken yesterday to accept the Tesco application when it had been refused on 29th August is clearly contrary to that advice.  Councillors were given no advance notice that the advice had changed nor was there any suggestion in the agenda papers that this was the case.  My view is that these items were not on the agenda for the issues to be reconsidered, rather to ratify the wording and/or detail surrounding previous decisions.

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