Westminster Conservatives, including Lindsey Hall, have voted to continue their ‘gag’ on residents speaking at Planning Committee meetings, after refusing to support a motion from Labour Councillors at the Council meeting on 29th April.
On 29th April Labour Councillors put down the following motion at the Council meeting:
“This Council agrees to allow the public to speak at the weekly Westminster Planning Committee meetings – in the same way as the public are allowed to speak at practically every other Planning Committee in London and the rest of the UK. This would be a small but significant step forward in the process of restoring public confidence in local democracy in Westminster.
Adopting this simple and straightforward change in the way in which Planning Committee meetings operate will enable those residents most directly affected by planning proposals (and those promoting them) to state their case directly to the Committee members when applications are being determined.
The Council appreciates that, given the high volume of planning applications received by the Council, introducing speaking rights for the public needs careful thought. However, we believe that this can be managed without difficulty as it is in other inner London boroughs and the Council hereby instructs Officers to report on how the detail of this can be implemented.”
While all Labour Councillors voted for this motion, all the Conservative Councillors voted against the motion, including Lindsey Hall, Conservative candidate for Westminster North on 7th May.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said:
“Once again, Westminster Conservatives have shown their arrogance and contempt for local residents by refusing to lift the ‘gag’ on residents speaking at Planning Committee meetings. Residents should be able to put forward their concerns in person at Planning Committee meetings – just as in every other London Borough. Labour Councillors will continue to press the Council on this fundamental issue which goes to the heart of local democracy”
Promoted by Andy Whitley on behalf of Karen Buck, both at 4g Shirland Mews, W9 3DY