The meeting to try and sort out the direction of our Local Plan took place last Tuesday evening (see https://keepkemptongreen.com/2021/07/09/time-for-the-fighting-to-stop/ )
To be frank, it is some time since KKG have listened to such a dis-spiriting display of political self-indulgence.
Rather than address the motion on the agenda (see the link above), an alternative “visioning” motion, emanating from, of all places, the new Leader and his Deputy, was put up for discussion.
This motion, on its own, would kick this particular can – getting the Local Plan moving again – down the road until October at the very least, so that yet another task group, an “envisioning” committee chaired by an outside facilitator, can generate a substantial contribution to global warming.
What a discussion ensued. Several hours of political manoeuvring and posturing followed (all in advance of the by-election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of the leader of the Green faction). Not by all councillors, but by enough of them to make a difference.
So, while the clock on our Local Plan is ticking very loudly, and we have already lost more than a year’s progress towards finishing it because of this council-wide faction fighting, the meeting last night eventually decided to adopt both motions, finally allowing the Planning Officers to get work moving again, but with the imminent threat that the whole thing could come to a standstill again in three months’ time. Perhaps sooner.
And as this is going on, councillors have been telling residents that it is possible to remove all Green Belt from the Local Plan process, at the same time as ruling out any high-rise blocks of flats, and all the while ignoring the housing targets sent down from central government. This is unadulterated snake-oil, and they know it.
Quite how the Planning Officers put up with this obstructionism is difficult to understand. The current planning team in charge of the Local Plan have done a highly commendable job in the face of what is simply juvenile behaviour by councillors.
In any decent system, those councillors who have been continually frustrating the work of the Planning Office would resign.
They know who they are. Just go.