Concern at how people can express their views

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coun Anne Hawkesworth Coun Anne Hawkesworth

Bradford Council has been accused of breaking the “spirit” of open Government by only making comments on a district-wide consultation available in the city centre.

The authority received about 1,200 comments from people across the district after a consultation about the draft core strategy of the controversial Local Development Framework (LDF), which sets out a vision for housing and development until 2028.

The LDF, which is now being called the Local Plan by the Council, has caused some concern in many areas, with 45,500 new homes proposed to be built during a 15-year period.

But Councillor Anne Hawkesworth , a former leader of the Tory group, said she feels people’s responses to the draft core strategy LDF consultation should be made far more widely available and not just restricted to those who can get to Bradford City Hall.

“It is not adequate to tell groups such as the design group and the civic society in Ilkley that they can see them online if they go into planning reception,” said Coun Hawkesworth, who represents Ilkley.

“There they will have to hope a computer is free to work on. This is hardly within the spirit of open government and once more calls Bradford into question as a secretive Council.”

A senior Council officer confirmed it was the way people could view the comments.

Andrew Marshall, planning and transport strategy manager, said: “The Council received about 1,200 comments during the consultation. They have all been logged, including any on paper which were scanned in digitally, and people can view them electronically at our planning reception located in City Hall’s reception.”

The consultation on the first draft of the core strategy ended earlier this year, attracting responses from across the district.

The final draft of the core strategy document is expected to be released in November which will go to a further round of public consultation.

A final decision and central Government approval for that part of the plan is expected in the first half of next year.

Other key documents that will make up part of the Local Plan include the waste management and land allocations development plans.

For more information on the LDF, go to our Save Our Green Spaces section.

Comments (6)

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11:09am Wed 22 Aug 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Is it any suprise than the council believe the universe starts and ends with City hall and the immediate surrounding areas.

Places like Ilkley, Menston, Howarth, etc are just places that pay money into the council in their eyes, nothing more.
Is it any suprise than the council believe the universe starts and ends with City hall and the immediate surrounding areas. Places like Ilkley, Menston, Howarth, etc are just places that pay money into the council in their eyes, nothing more. Thee Voice of Reason

12:59pm Wed 22 Aug 12

Cooperlane2 says...

How dare anyone question the policies and activities of our beloved council.
How dare anyone question the policies and activities of our beloved council. Cooperlane2

3:12pm Wed 22 Aug 12

mad matt says...

Since when have ANY council been open about their discussions and decisions?
What all councillors need to remember is that WE elect them and WE pay them.
If they want to be secretive about important matters then simply sack them!
Since when have ANY council been open about their discussions and decisions? What all councillors need to remember is that WE elect them and WE pay them. If they want to be secretive about important matters then simply sack them! mad matt

5:40pm Wed 22 Aug 12

Whatthejuice says...

As long as the sheep continue to vote Tory or Labour we will get the same Council at every election.
As long as the sheep continue to vote Tory or Labour we will get the same Council at every election. Whatthejuice

11:19pm Thu 23 Aug 12

Jackie Thompson says...

The council officers are behaving disgracefully here. There are generally accepted standards regarding public consultations which they have disregarded. For example there should be timely publication of the results together with information as to how the responses have influenced the strategy. The information also needs to be made accessible (if it can only be seen in a specific building it is not regarded as accessible). In addition, these officers have completely disregarded the policy on consultation that was agreed by Councillors prior to the publication of the draft LDF.

Where officers appear to be seeking to conceal information or to avoid publishing information about planning related matters questions need to be raised regarding probity, particularly in a situation where officers have been in discussions with developers that have not been subject to scrutiny by Councillors or the public. Our Councillors have been excluded from meetings between officers and developers. On top of that the way in which data was manipulated to justify this LDF was unorthodox (some of the problems with the data are outlined on the Addingham Civic Society website. This entire situation is extremely worrying and I would like to see a public enquiry into what has been going on.
The council officers are behaving disgracefully here. There are generally accepted standards regarding public consultations which they have disregarded. For example there should be timely publication of the results together with information as to how the responses have influenced the strategy. The information also needs to be made accessible (if it can only be seen in a specific building it is not regarded as accessible). In addition, these officers have completely disregarded the policy on consultation that was agreed by Councillors prior to the publication of the draft LDF. Where officers appear to be seeking to conceal information or to avoid publishing information about planning related matters questions need to be raised regarding probity, particularly in a situation where officers have been in discussions with developers that have not been subject to scrutiny by Councillors or the public. Our Councillors have been excluded from meetings between officers and developers. On top of that the way in which data was manipulated to justify this LDF was unorthodox (some of the problems with the data are outlined on the Addingham Civic Society website. This entire situation is extremely worrying and I would like to see a public enquiry into what has been going on. Jackie Thompson

11:22pm Thu 23 Aug 12

Jackie Thompson says...

Mad Matt - I've worked with around a dozen Local Authorities at one time or another. They don't generally behave like this! Bradford is exceptional.
Mad Matt - I've worked with around a dozen Local Authorities at one time or another. They don't generally behave like this! Bradford is exceptional. Jackie Thompson

Comments are closed on this article.

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