Conservative Group on Cornwall Council calls for democracy to be restored to planning decisions during Lockdown

Linda Taylor CC

Tuesday, 14 April, 2020

The Conservative Group on Cornwall Council has called for democracy and accountability to be restored to the planning process in Cornwall during lockdown.

Commenting, Conservative Group Leader Cllr Linda Taylor said:

“During these difficult times it is clear that much of normal council business has had to pause or change.”

“Nonetheless we still have our statutory duties as a council, which includes making decisions through the planning and licensing process.”

“The Lib Dem/Independent administration that runs the council had been content previously to not have any planning meetings during lockdown, not even virtual ones, and instead delegate decision-making to officers, or by Skype  with the Chair and Vice Chair of the planning committee and the Divisional Member if they have “called “in an application.”

“However the Conservative Group has now seen this in practice, and now sees the need to have virtual planning meetings with  engaged planning members and public participation.”

“These are important decisions being made that can have a massive impact on the communities we serve.”

“Where our neighbours in Exeter and Plymouth councils are holding virtual meetings with councillors, we have to ask, why is this not the case here in Cornwall?”

“We have the technology, and councillors and officers are already doing excellent work in meeting virtually every week in informal meetings via Skype for Business.”

“So we are calling upon the Administration to restore democracy to these areas and start holding virtual meetings as soon as possible.”

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