There has been inaccurate information in the media regarding the Whittlesey supermarket planning issue which we would like to address.
The Leader of Fenland District Council did not and could not “replace the whole of the Planning Committee”. He can only stand down his own Conservative colleagues.
With regard to training, all councillors on Planning have to undergo regular training as on other committees on the District Council such as Licensing and could not remain on such a committee unless they have completed training. We both strongly support this approach.
The fact that some (not all) councillors, with years of experience, despite having such training, failed to understand the professional advice given at the second planning meeting where the Tesco application was approved is extremely unfortunate. It is for them to answer why they chose to take this route. We hope that in the fullness of time, their decisions will become clear. We feel that we voted consistently, at both meetings based on planning principles.
The responsibilities of local councillors in serving their communities requires multiple skills. Representing residents on such committees is just one important facet.
Michael Bucknor (Truly Independent)
Dave Patrick (Liberal Democrat)