I was saddened to read the letter from LS claiming I looked at him ‘incredulously’ and ‘laughed’ at his suggestion that UKIP would create a storm in the local elections. I did no such thing.
What did occur is that, as the cabinet member for planning, along with Coun Jack Scott, I agreed to meet with him on site, to discuss his concerns about a planning application for a fire station off the Parkway.
The meeting probably lasted almost an hour. I explained to LS that I did not make the decisions on planning applications, that was for the Planning Committee, of which I am not a part.
I explained that my role is to ensure the planning process is correctly undertaken.
I said that I supported the location for a fire service if the fire service could show it was the best site that met their time response targets, but confirmed that this was for the Planning Committee – not me – to decide.
The meeting was amicable and I told LS how he could object and that he could attend the Planning Committee.
The Planning Committee voted in favour of the fire station being on the site. I understand LS is very unhappy with the decision and may be angry about it, however, I don’t believe I have ever scoffed and laughed at any constituent who has expressed a political view.
Councillors are often faced with difficult decisions. The Planning Committee had to consider the evidence, both the ecological argument made by LS, but also the need of the local community to have the most effective fire cover to keep them safe.
Councillors have to represent everyone’s interests as best they can on such matters.
That is the right way to make decisions and I am satisfied that they did so as part of a proper process, even if LS does not agree with the outcome.
Councillor Leigh Bramall