Sheffield MP slams planning payment claims

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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A SHEFFIELD MP has spoken out against claims that some councillors are taking payments to lobby on behalf of planning applicants.

It comes after claims nationally that local government officials are loaning their knowledge of the trading system to charge for advice on how to get planning applications approved.

But South East MP Clive Betts said: “It is inconceivable any councillor or council officer could possibly think it might be either ethical or appropriate to take payment from any planning applicant or developer to lobby elected members or officers on their own local authority.

“If such activity is evidenced, I hope the miscreants are hauled before the courts and prosecuted accordingly.”

Mr Betts said Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles had to take some responsibility.

He said: “With swashbuckling irresponsibility, Eric Pickles abolished the National Code of Conduct for Councillors and the Standards’ Board which had been given the responsibility for investigating and taking tough action when appropriate, in relation to any allegations of failure.”