Councillors can address a planning committee even if they have been involved with negotiations prior to the meeting

Whilst this judgment is about a Cabinet member who spoke in favour of the application the ruling seems to make it clear (to us) that this must also apply to ward members, who are currently not allowed to speak.

The judgment said:

Decision

The High Court held that the planning committee was made up of experienced councillors who were aware of the need to base their decisions on relevant planning considerations alone. In the absence of an express provision in the council’s constitution preventing attendance any councillor, where there is no disabling personal interest and with the committee’s permission, can attend and address it.

The councillor’s motives in addressing the committee were irrelevant. The relevant issue was the impact on the committee members’ decision. There was no reasonable basis for concluding that the committee would have voted differently in the absence of the councillor’s intervention.

The Court noted that members should be free to express their views as, if they do not, their real reasons for voting may be veiled or unclear. Retrospectively asking individual councillors to explain their voting was ‘deplorable’. The court’s view was that “excessive forensic analysis of political debate has the appearance of fettering the democratic process”.

http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19021:speaking-up&catid=63&Itemid=31

The missing 6% (?plus) of voters now missing from the EDDC electoral roll

What happens if you don’t register
If you meet the conditions for registering to vote (eg you’re 16 or over and you’re British or a national of an EU or Commonwealth country) and you’re asked to register, you have to do so.

If you don’t, your local Electoral Registration Office could fine you £80. They won’t fine you if you have a valid reason for not registering – eg a long stay in hospital, or you have severe learning difficulties.

So why is the Electoral Registration Officer not doing something about this? Could it be that there is a worry that the missing people may not be majority party voters?

https://www.gov.uk/electoral-register/overview

EDDC accounts open to the public for month of July.

This is a quick reminder that the EDDC will be opening its accounts to the public from Tuesday 1st July until 28th July.

For details on red tape procedures please see our link: http://eastdevonalliance.org/2014/06/12/eddc-accounts-public-inspection-of-accounts-dates-and-procedures/

For an idea of the summary of the Internal Audit – please see http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/combineda_gagenda260614final.pdf

If East Devon’s population is going up, why has the number of electors gone down (official EDDC figures)

Each year EDDC must publish the total number of electors in the district.  Numbers for 2013 and 2014 show that there were 6,408 fewer electors in 2014 than in 2013.

2013
Electorate: 104,351
http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/parish_electorate_-_feb_2013.pdf

2014
Electorate: 97,943
http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/numbers_of_electors_feb14.pdf

Difference: 6,408 fewer electors – despite Cranbrook having come on stream at that time.