Local Democracy

“Slouching Towards Post-Democracy”


Colchester Lib Dem Nick Barlow writes perceptively here about the erosion of democracy. The public face of democracy is till there (elections) – but real control is being taken away from those democratically elected: …This, of course, is the usual modus operandi for the Tories. Big, bold claims about opening up services, providing choice, freedom and everything else, while actually…
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Tory Leadership Intend To Stop 26 Councillors Voting On Planning Applications

civic suite

The Tory leadership, after being rattled for so long by some battling councillors and discontented residents, is fighting back. The leader of the council, Terry Cutmore, is bringing this little gem to Full Council next week: So, basically, after this only 13 councillors will be able to vote on planning applications at any meeting. Although the motion says the idea…
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Geoff Williams To Move Motion Of No Confidence At Basildon Council

Geoff Willimas
Geoff Williams

We wrote recently about Basildon Council, where a planning decision for a big housing site was kept away from Basildon’s own planning committee and decided under delegated powers. Veteran Liberal Democrat Councillor Geoff Williams is now intending to table a motion of no confidence in the planning committee chair Cllr Morris on October 15th. The motion reads: “This council believes…
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This Is Important – A “Combined Authority” To Rule Over Essex?


The government is offering to devolve powers and decision-making to regional areas, and as a result the different council leaders in Essex – including Essex CC , Southend and Thurrock – have been talking about working together. The first thing to say is that there has been no discussion at our Full Council about this yet. The second is that…
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Basildon Council Bypasses Its Own Planning Committee


Sometimes planning meetings aren’t simply about passing something or refusing it. They are about suggesting improvements in the layout. A good example of this was back in the 80s with the Downhall Park Way Development . The Lib Dem ward councillors at that time got the layout altered in a number of places , to minimise the impact on neighbours….
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A Question Of Floor Space, A Question Of Localism

There’s a planning application in Hockley to construct a two bedroom bungalow. The application number is 14/00807/FUL and the intention is to build in the rear garden of 28 Great Eastern Avenue but fronting directly onto Gladstone Road. What’s interesting is that last month the council adopted policies about minimum floorspace in new homes. The floorspace in this application is…
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