When and how may the public have access to a summary of consultee’s responses to the Local Planning Enforcement Plan, (LPEP) consultation and to the consequent amendments to LPEP, and when and how will the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee carry out its duty to scrutinise any such amendments before seeking the approval of the Executive?
At the March committee meeting of the Committee Councillor Jorgensen report that in June the Committee ‘would review the progress of the Planning Enforcement Service Action Plan and the outcome of the consultation on the Local Planning Enforcement Plan’. As a result of that we, the residents had a reasonable expectation that the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny would be doing its job at this meeting of critically examining the results of the consultation on the LPEP and any revisions to the LPEP proposed by management and that this would be done today before any revised went for approval by the Executive. The LPEP was put out to public consultation in the first quarter, with a closing date of 22 March 2015, so the Officers would have had the best part of three months to consider consultees comments and to respond appropriately. I have not been able to find on the Wokingham Borough Council website under ‘Current Consultations’ or Consultation Responses’ any reference to the LPEP consultation.
So my question is, when and how may the public have access to a summary of consultees’ responses to the LPEP consultation and to the consequent amendments to LPEP, and when and how will the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee carry out its duty to scrutinise any such amendments before seeking the approval of the Executive?
Answer provided by the Chairman:
I am told that the outcome, the summary of consultee responses to the LPEP exercise is in the Development Section in the Planning area. If you still cannot find it then I suggest to you come back to Officers within Democratic Services. The summary should be there now I believe.
The Council’s Executive is the appropriate decision making body to consider consultation responses received and how that is incorporated into the LPEP. The comments and the resultant amendments to the document will be presented to the Executive meeting which is scheduled for July 2015. The papers for that will be published as normal about a week or so in advance of that meeting.
I am satisfied that the Committee has had full opportunity to review the document previously and input to it. I have been informed that comments have been taken into consideration and amendments suggested by the Committee have been included in the final draft, which I have not yet seen.
The papers for the Executive meeting will be obviously be made available before the meeting and if there are any issues raised by members of the Committee or if I see anything that I do not like then I will raise on behalf of the Committee with the Executive Member John Kaiser prior to the Executive meeting. So I think that is how this Committee will have any further input if required. If you recall, we only had a couple of comments the last time we saw it and I have been assured that those comments have been taken into consideration.
You say that you are satisfied that Members have had the opportunity to comment. My question is when did that occur? Because the last meeting of this Committee was in March and the results of the consultation came out subsequently to that. So, I do not understand how the Members of the committee have had the opportunity that you refer to.
Supplementary answer provided by the Chairman:
I am referring to the previous time it came before it went out to consultation. So we had our comments which were submitted as part of the consultation. I have been assured that those have been taken into account so that is why we have done our bit. I have to stress that the decision making body is the Executive. This committee does not have the decision making power. So it’s the right place. Again, if you have further questions then probably address them to that Executive meeting because again public questions can be asked at that and if we have any further comments, we will make those comments as well.