Newton Pop District Councillor Ken Potter must be regretting his invitation to the unfortunate Ray Bloxham to explain EDDC’s decision to reduce public speaking at council meetings.
Cllr Bloxham, architect of the controversial new restrictions, struck completely the wrong note. He blamed verbose public speeches for endless DMC meetings. He argued EDDC were much more generous than other councils in time allowed, and concluded that ,anyway, the chance for a few people to speak was “the icing on the cake” of a long planning process!
Several Newton Pop councillors and residents couldn’t wait to get their teeth into the speaker. They expressed angry distrust of the planning system. The impression given at DMC meetings was that many applications were “predetermined”, they said. Public comments were ignored. The management and chairing of planning meetings was abysmal. Councillors waffling and repeating each other were the real time-wasters.
Finally asked one resident, “What is the point of your coming here tonight when the decision has been taken already?”
Poor Ray could only stammer something about it only being an experiment for a year. Any gamblers at NP last night wouldn’t have put good money on it lasting that long.