Thursday, 22 March 2012

Planning and Scrutiny March 2012

A couple of meetings to recap (I'm bunging out a pretty haphazard report here readers so dont be too picky about it), starting with last night's Planning Committee

The Hereson/Honeysuckle junction application passed with unanimous support. A bit of debate over the St Peters Court rear extension but the Committee felt that the alternative of the applicant pushing "permitted development rights" was worse than what was proposed. Personally a Site Visit could have been a goer with a couple of Members wanting one and a very good speech by the local resident against the proposal, but approval is fair enough as the Committee was being very realist.

Then we have the Post Office building at Cecil Square. Proposal is to retain the Cecil Square facing chunk and demolish the rear section, replacing it with new housing. The retained part seems to be fine for the Committee but the rear section came under fire by a number of sceptical Members. A Site Visit will take place with the application coming back before Planning on the 18th April.

Then onto tonight's reconvened Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting, another 2 and a half hour job. Thing's kicked off with the Canvass Growth Bid - basically boosting the electoral roll. A bit more spending needed for this but its agreed that its worth it. There's talk of "data-matching", that is of comparing data from say housing records to find people but from what we heard there's still some way to go yet. The Electoral Review (shorthand) Working Party is going to continue for a bit longer than its May deadline as its still got work to do. 

"Urgent Decisions" got debated and finally we got formal explanation for the Hotel Leslie argument and the report backs Cllr Wells over that decision on the basis of it's urgency. At least now we have it out in the public domain about the rules in relation to this. 

We then had a big crime section. One of the big criticisms of the Police was that it covered Margate Central and Cliftonville West as a priority which was fair enough but that Ramsgate seemed to be left out even though when looking at deprived wards, Eastcliff wasnt far away. There was also comment about the lack of detail in the Community Safety Plan when looking at budgets or alternatively the lack of executive power behind the Scrutiny Working Party report.

Interesting to hear reports from one Member about PCSOs choosing not to enforce rules on dog fouling and that rubbish dumping is another chronic problem. Anyone who's read this blog before will know the number of times I've moaned about dumped rubbish and it's an ongoing problem in my patch. I've followed the clear up operation behind The Oxford pub (shout-out to Alistair Burgess for reporting this on FixMyStreet) and while its good to see it being sort of cleared up, the neighbouring shell of a building at 5a St Peters Road is in a state that guarantees no chance of that problem going away for good. 

Finally, an item on Food Safety with a revealing debate. Given the number of food businesses in Thanet, its good to see the Council getting a grip on this issue.

Next week is Cabinet, so Ill try and do a preview for it. Michael Child might add to his Royal Sands comments so keep an eye on Thanet Online. Don't expect much comment from me on that one!

1 comment:

ascu75 aka Don said...

Whats the Hotel Lesly problem? It is not perfect but we have a need and they seen to fill it.