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Report calls for Lichfield District Council to reduce the size of planning committee

The size of the planning committee at Lichfield District Council could be reduced.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

A report to the local authority’s economic growth, environment and development overview and scrutiny committee earlier this week says the current 22-member panel is too large.

It has instead recommended reducing the size of the planning committee to 15 councillors.

The report by Cllr Ian Pritchard, Cabinet member for economic growth, development and environment, said: “Current best practice advice encourages smaller committees as they tend to offer greater consistency in decision making, lower costs to run and better attendance at meetings.

“Major planning appeal performance has improved since 2015, but is still well below the national average when compared to other councils, highlighting the need for more robust decision making.”

Under the proposals, the planning committee would be made up of 13 representatives from the controlling Conservative group and two opposition councillors.

The report has also recommended training ‘reserve’ members of the panel to cover any changes in the make-up of the committee.

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  1. Steve Norman

    25th January, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I remember when I was elected to Lichfield District Council in 1995 I was astounded that the whole of the 56 Council membership was the Planning Committee! Couldn’t find anothet council like it at the time.

    Eventually (there were bigger problems we inherited that needed our attention) we agreed a much smaller committee to be reviewed after six months.

    Unfortunately when the Tories won back control they changed it back again – before the six months were up. I am sure it was not because members got an alowance for attending each meeting in those days. No review or discussion.

    Fortunately the Labour Government brought in Scrutiny Committees shortly afterwards and it is scrutiny that enabled- backbenchets to question and challenge a council’s leadership.

  2. Steve Norman

    25th January, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Dear reader
    Sorry for typos above. Must enlarge the text on my phone but thanks to Lichfield Live for publishing- warts and all.