• Public speaking restrictions at planning cttee meetings back on the table for debate, this Thursday

    11th May 2014 | News | Claire
  • The report in the papers gives a summary of the fiery debate that took place at the last full council meeting in April, which can be read in more detail here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/stormy_debate_stalls_public_speaking_restrictions 

    Outraged members of the public staged a demonstration outside the Knowle prior to the meeting.

    The paper states that there have been “concerns” about my amendment to the proposals submitted at full council, which had attempted to mitigate the restrictions.

    It says that elements of my amendment could result in “serious unfairness.”

    At the full council meeting on 9 April many members said that they had noticed that some planning committee members tended to repeat each other’s views and talk for much longer than necessary.  However, the paper which will be discussed on Thursday’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting, disagrees.

    The report cautions against “seeking to reduce the length of the committee debate,” and asserts that no one had criticised the length of the planning committee debate until the committee of 1 April.

    So the recommendations on severely restricting public speaking rights at planning committee meetings remain unchanged, or at least virtually unchanged.  There are slight changes apparently, but not that I can detect – and the really damaging ones, such as only being allowed to address the committee if you have commented previously in writing, and giving the applicant/developer an extra speaking slot, in addition to the allowable number of slots for supporters, still feature.

    And there follows dozens and dozens of pages of examples of other authorities who are apparently far less generous in their public speaking rules, than EDDC.

    The meeting starts at 6.30pm on Thursday 15 May and will be held in the council chamber.  Here’s a link to the papers – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/os_agenda_150514_combined.pdf 

    Photograph:  Members of the public demonstrating outside Knowle about public speaking restrictions, before the full council meeting in April.