Jenny Else, the Former Tory councillor for Elstead, could never be accused of remaining silent when there’s an opportunity to give a good jab in the ribs to ‘Your Waverley’s’ rainbow administration, regardless of whether she is in or out of office.
I have just watched a large chunk of last night’s planning meeting.Words to describe are difficult to find, but I’ll have a go.Who was chairing the meeting?At one point, it was between the applicant’s architect and a senior planning officer. Completely in charge of proceedings, it would appear.I felt sorry for the new councillors, who might not have known any different and embarrassed for the more experienced who had to sit through it.An unprofessional shambles and nothing to be proud of.Unless a better performance can be given in these quasi-legal meetings, Waverley will be a laughing stock as well as being completely inefficient.I was amazed at the lack of polish from anyone on the raised platform – it would never have happened in my day – in fact, it didn’t.”
Our bloggers were tearing their hair out from the roots during the latest jumble of confusion and unintelligible debate during what was billed as
THE PLANNING COMMITTEE.
However, obviously, no one had told the Chairman because Cllr David Beaman appeared to welcome everyone to the meeting of the Western Planning Committee. A committee that, together with the Eastern Planning Committee, has been sent into oblivion. Why? Because there are no longer any geographical committees in the borough. Waverley has to speed up its planning function because the Government’s men in grey suits are on their marks, ready to head down the A3.
The confusion didn’t end there. Oh, how we wish it had! Poor old Cllr Carole Cockburn didn’t know whether she was Arthur or Martha. She asked if she should declare an interest as she could not ask questions or vote and could only speak for four minutes on planning applications as she was a Ward Councillor. You could almost see the vision of the past Western Planning Committees flashing before her eyes.
No member of the public watching the webcast could understand who was speaking because councillors, officers and public speakers ended up in the corner of a screen like this.
If, and it is a big if, the Chairman did announce who was speaking, then even with our ear to the screen, his words were completely unintelligible. As many of the committee members were new and unrecognisable from such a small screen, how the hell could they be identified?
On a hot night, with much hot air expelled – much of it in anger by members of the public, the temperature at Waverley Towers must have sent the mercury flying further upwards.
Who voted for what was, thankfully, not an issue? Under the new regime, everything was GRANTED following an officer’s recommendation to approve.
That should make the Planning Advisory Service and the Government very happy. Do we, or other members of the public other than developers, really want to watch meetings like this? Not flaming, likely!
P.S. A message for the Head Planning Honcho.
Shortly before the election, a planning application for 12 homes at Amlets Park in Cranleigh that has languished in the darkest bowels of Waverley Towers for more than two years was deferred “for more information.” Is there any chance it might see the light of day this year?
You can watch the meeting here, but you have been warned.