Council Leader sets out his stall on the reforms he wants in the planning department

COUNCIL Leader Alan Melton, predictably, opened a can of worms with his forthright views on the state of Fenland s planning protocols. His passion for change and improvement (which indirectly catapulted him back into the hot seat once more at Fenland Hal

COUNCIL Leader Alan Melton, predictably, opened a can of worms with his forthright views on the state of Fenland's planning protocols.

His passion for change and improvement (which indirectly catapulted him back into the hot seat once more at Fenland Hall) is being applied to a wide range of issues, notably on constitutional reform but especially in respect of planning.

That Councillor Martin Curtis is likely to be replaced as chairman of the planning committee is taken as read. Not that Cllr Curtis has been an ambivalent chairman or lacks credentials but Cllr Melton is determined that those who occupy centre stage at Shire Hall (Cllr Curtis is a Cabinet member for young people) will not fulfil a prime role locally.

Other changes include an increase in the number of councillors on the planning committee but these are secondary to a challenging overhaul of the entire system.


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Cllr Melton has noted inconsistencies in decision making at officer level and believes these are frustrating what he regards as the council's principal aim of economic advancement and achievement.

Quite how these changes will pan out will depend, to some extent, on a review now being undertaken by his colleague, Councillor Kit Owen.

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But the strength and depth of feeling expressed by our readers and the widespread perceptions of a disintegrating service, suggests its time for applying more rigorous and transparent principles.

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