Planning consultation – new NPPF weakens public input

“In May, the Government (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) held a consultation on revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework – the headline planning policy document from which all other planning policy stems.

The Institute responded to the consultation, specifically commenting on the very opaque legislation / guidance surrounding the requirements for consultation in planning and development.

Despite growing concern about public disaffection in the planning system, the guidance contained within the original NPPF was very vague: while developers were encouraged to engage and the benefits are described, there was nothing in law to require developers to consult local people before submitting a planning application.

The revised NPPF has now been published and we were disappointed to see that very little has changed in the requirement to consult.

Engagement is still only ‘encouraged’; one of the few changes being that it has been extended from solely statutory, to both statutory and non-statutory consultees.

However, the list of information requirements that local authorities must make of developers has been reduced from ‘proportionate to the nature and scale of development proposals’ to ‘kept to the minimum needed to make decisions’. To view the exact changes between the two documents, click here:

https://3d8qxnz7q9pw2411lsz7k14t-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/The-NPPF-on-Pre-application-engagement-and-front-loading-a-comparison-between-the-original-and-revised-versions-1.pdf

While the legal requirement for developers to consult remains opaque, the notion that community involvement can benefit planning decisions is unequivocal.

Planning is ultimately about people: whether a local authority-run strategic plan or a private sector-led development proposal, change to the built environment impacts on communities. While it is generally believed that those proposing changes should involve local residents as a courtesy, additionally planners and developers have much to benefit from involving local people.

Consultation provides the opportunity to glean information and ideas from a local community. This might include knowledge of local history and which has the potential to enrich a scheme, otherwise unknown social issues which might have delayed the process, and the needs and aspirations of the community which may be met through the new development. With local input, proposals can be enriched and finely tuned to a specific neighbourhood, creating a unique scheme well suited to its location.

The local community, too, can benefit: community involvement can promote social cohesion, strengthen individual groups within it and create a shared legacy.

Following local dialogue at an early stage and having had proposals either challenged or welcomed, a developer has a greater chance of building local support for a proposed scheme. And a well-run consultation can build a trusting and mutually cooperative relationship between the developer and the community, which can minimise the potential for conflict and thereby remove risk in the process.

While tCI is disappointed by the lack of commitment to consultation in the revised NPPF, we are encouraged that policy might ultimately change following the Raynsford Review, a review of the planning system which has been commissioned by the Town and Country Planning Association and makes community participation a high priority. To view tCI ‘s contribution to the Review’s Interim Report, click here:

https://www.consultationinstitute.org/tcis-response-to-the-interim-report-of-the-raynsford-review-on-greater-community-involvement-in-planning/

https://www.consultationinstitute.org/the-nppf-and-consultation-or-revised-planning-policy-and-consultation/

Those MP dodgy links – this time vaping

“MPs who backed calls for looser laws around vaping are attacked over their links to the industry.

MPs who called for restrictions on e-cigarettes to be relaxed have been criticised over their links to the vaping industry.

In a controversial report, they said bans on vaping in public places – such as in hospitals and restaurants or on buses – should be considered.

The report, by the Commons science and technology committee, also said that ministers should carry out a review to make it easier to get the devices on the prescription.

MPs who called for restrictions on e-cigarettes to be relaxed have been criticised over their links to the vaping industry.

It emerged yesterday that the committee’s chairman, Norman Lamb, spoke at an industry forum held by the UK Vaping Industry Association. The forum focused on how to boost the market for e-cigarettes.

He was also photographed next to John Dunne, the association’s director, at the launch of another report and told the audience: ‘I was horrified when the EU went down the route of health regulation [of vaping products]… I thought it was a complete own goal.’

Professor Simon Capewell, of Liverpool University, said: ‘The committee has concentrated solely on ‘experts’ who are e-cig champions.’

Mr Lamb said yesterday that it was unfair to say the committee has a pro-vaping bias.

‘I reject this assertion,’ he said. ‘The committee carefully considered evidence from more than 90 organisations including a range of academics, NHS professionals, NICE [the clinical guidelines watchdog], and government departments to inform the report.

‘It is my responsibility as chair of this committee to speak to a range of organisations and individuals about our work.’ “

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6072919/MPs-backed-calls-looser-laws-vaping-attacked-links-industry.html

“Court of Appeal grants NHS campaign group permission to appeal against NHS England’s new Integrated Care Provider contract”

“The Court of Appeal has issued an order granting campaign group 999 Call for the NHS permission to appeal the ruling against their Judicial Review of the proposed payment mechanism in NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation contract.

The Accountable Care Organisation Contract (now rebranded by NHS England as the Integrated Care Provider contract) proposes that healthcare providers are not paid per treatment, but by a ‘Whole Population Annual Payment’, which is a set amount for the provision of named services during a defined period. This, 999 Call for the NHS argues, unlawfully shifts the risk of there being an underestimate of patient numbers from the commissioner to the provider, and endangers service standards.

In April, the High Court ruled against the campaign group’s legal challenge to NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation contract – but the group and their solicitors at Leigh Day and barristers at Landmark Chambers found the ruling so flawed that they immediately applied for permission to appeal.

Although fully aware of this, on Friday 3rd August – the day Parliament and the Courts went on holiday – NHS England started a public consultation on the Accountable Care Organisation contract – now renamed the Integrated Provider Organisation contract.

The consultation document asserts that the payment mechanism in the ACO/ICP contract is lawful, because:

“The High Court has now decided the two judicial reviews in NHS England’s favour.”

Steve Carne, speaking for 999 Call for the NHS, said

“It beggars belief that NHS England is consulting on a contract that may not even be lawful. And a lot of public funds is being spent on developing the ACO model – including on the public consultation. We are very pleased that 3 judges from the Court of Appeal will have time to consider the issues properly. We shall shortly issue our stage 5 Crowd Justice appeal for £18k to cover the costs of the Appeal.

We are so grateful to all the campaigners and members of the public who have made it possible for us to challenge the lawfulness of NHS England’s attempt to shoehorn the NHS into an imitation of the USA’s Medicare/Medicaid system.

We will not see our NHS reduced to limited state-funded health care for people who can’t afford private health insurance.

Jo Land, one of the original Darlo Mums when 999 Call for the NHS led the People’s March for the NHS from Jarrow to London, added,

“All along we have been warning about the shrinkage of the NHS into a service that betrays the core principle of #NHS4All – a health service that provides the full range of appropriate health care to everyone with a clinical need for it, free at the point of use.

Since we first started work two years ago on bringing this judicial review, there have been more and more examples of restrictions and denials of NHS care, and the consequent growth of a two tier system – private for those who can afford it, and an increasingly limited NHS for the rest of us.”

Jenny Shepherd said

“NHS England’s rebranded Accountable Care Organisation contract consultation is a specious attempt to meet the requirement to consult on a significant change to NHS and social care services.

We don’t support the marketisation of the NHS that created the purchaser/provider split and requires contracts for the purchase and provision of services.

Integration of NHS and social care services, in order to provide a more straightforward process for patients with multiple ailments, is not aided by a system that essentially continues NHS fragmentation.

This new proposed contract is a complex lead provider contract that creates confusion over the respective roles of commissioner and provider. It requires multiple subcontracts that are likely to need constant wasteful renegotiation and change over the duration of the lead provider contract. This is just another form of fragmentation, waste and dysfunctionality.

The way to integrate the NHS and social care is through legislation to abolish the purchaser/provider split and contracting; put social care on the same footing as the NHS as a fully publicly funded and provided service that is free at the point of use; and remove the market and non-NHS bodies from the NHS.

Such legislation already exists in the shape of the NHS Reinstatement Bill.”

The campaign team say they are determined in renewing the fight to stop and reverse Accountable Care. Whether rebranded as Integrated Care or not, they see evidence that it is the same attempt to shoehorn the NHS into a limited role in a two tier healthcare system that feeds the interests of profiteering private companies.

Steven Carne emphasised,

“It is vital that we defend the core NHS principle of providing the full range of appropriate treatments to everyone with a clinical need for them.”

999 Call for the NHS hope the 2 day appeal in London will happen before the end of the year. The Appeal will consider all seven grounds laid out in the campaign group’s application – with capped costs.

Details on the first instance judgment can be found here:

http://www.landmarkchambers.co.uk/news.aspx?id=5630

and the judgment itself here:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2018/1067.html

David Lock QC and Leon Glenister represent 999 Call for the NHS, instructed by Rowan Smith and Anna Dews at Leigh Day.

https://calderdaleandkirklees999callforthenhs.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/court-of-appeal-grants-nhs-campaign-group-permission-to-appeal-against-nhs-englands-new-integrated-care-provider-contract/