Council record- keeping – an EDDC example

A recent comment on the original article:

“This finding should come as no surprise to EDDC.

In a decision published in January 2004, the Ombudsman found against EDDC in regard to a number of complaints concerning planning matters in Exmouth at Camperdown Terrace. The Ombudsman noted that

‘material relating to the application was misleading and gave no indication that the council was being asked to approve a 6.8 metre high metal boat racking system at the end of their small gardens, nor that the racks would be used for the storage of large motor boats which are moved around the site by a gigantic fork lift truck.‘

Consultees were not provided with sufficient information to make informed comments.

The Council’s record keeping was very poor and there was a failure to give adequate consideration to the points raised by the consultees and others who commented on the application. The Ombudsman found maladminstration causing injustice and recommended that …..

(g) “undertake a review of the record keeping by planning officers and the delegated decision making arrangemnents to ensure that proper records are kept and delegated decisions are made on the basis of written reports, so that those affected may see how a particular decision has been reached.”

The most striking sentence for me is “Consultees were not provided with sufficient information to make informed comments”. Anyone knowing anything about the Exmouth Masterplan consultation, in regard to Elizabeth Hall v Premier Inn, will appreciate how EDDC said one thing meant something quite different, how wanting to see the EH site improved was taken as meaning approval for a Premier Inn. EH is but one of very many examples.

Also, anyone who is familiar with EDDC’s answers to FOIs will be all too familiar with EDDC’s failure to keep proper records of decision making.

The record of this Ombudsman’s finding is no longer available online but I have the 24 page report should anyone want it.”