The Basildon Labour Party have called for a meeting with the Government’s Chief
Planning Officer after it emerged that following a meeting with the new Conservative
Administration, inspectors are being sent into the Council to assess why delays are taking
The Basildon Labour Party have called for a meeting with the Government’s Chief Planning Officer after it emerged that following a meeting with the new Conservative Administration, inspectors are being sent into the Council to assess why delays are taking so long.
Despite attempts to portray the meeting between the Government and the Council on 27th June 2018 as wholly positive, official minutes of the meeting have emerged in which it is says that ‘MHCLG noted that this was a slippage of more than 3 months against the LDS current at the time of the letter of 23 March and that it would therefore be helpful to have a visit to enable MHCLG to understand production timetables and issues in more detail.’
Labour have called on the Government Officials to meet with them as well as the Conservative Administration when they visit the Council, so that Labour can understand the Government’s thinking.
Labour Group Leader Adele Brown explained, “Every Council who received a Government threat in November 2017 has been working around the clock to starve off the threat of intervention and interference in the production of its Local Plan. All except for Basildon. Under this Conservative Administration, the unnecessary and unjustified delays that the Leader, Cllr Andrew Baggott has imposed on the Council has now meant the Government want to come into the Council and assess for themselves what is really going on.
“Labour will be clear with the Chief Planning Officer that our plan was ready to go. We made significant progress and voted for the plan to go to Regulation 19 consultation. The last four weeks have been totally shambolic for Basildon Council. From their mismanagement of the Extraordinary Council meeting, to the silence over meetings with the Secretary of State and now the most senior ranking government planning officer telling them he wants to come in and review the whole plan, Cllr Baggott needs to get a grip of this. He needs to show leadership rather than dithering to try and make it look like he is doing something.
“Labour has lost confidence in the officers who have presided over this six weeks shambles. We want to meet the Government officials and make our views clear. Given the Council is likely to be hung again in 9 months’ time, it is vital we are all on the same page”.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government