Despite a hefty work commitment, I managed to get along to witness the Common Land Town and Village Green Committee proceedings, an event which I have publicised over the last few days.
Arriving at 4.15 prompt, I asked a member of the public how the full Cabinet meeting had progressed (scheduled to start at 4.00 p.m.) “Don’t know” replied said member of the public, “I got here at ten past and it had already finished”. Further enquiries revealed that the meeting had lasted a grand total of 8 minutes, with 1 minute for sitting down at the beginning and 1 minute for standing up at the end! That’s 6 minutes to look after the Borough’s welfare.
With November’s council meeting lasting 7 minutes, the Cabinet lasting 8 minutes, where are all the decisions being made? Answers on a postcard to “The Fountain…….South Shields”
Back to the Common Land Committee. What a charade. Certain Councillors couldn’t even bother to learn verbatim the questions they had been given to ask – they even bought their “flash” cards with them! As a preamble to the meeting the councillors were given legal advice that they must only consider Mr Khans application on its merits, they couldn’t take into account other issues i.e. they couldn’t take into account whether the granting of the application would stop future building. Simple enough, so lets have some Councillors questions. Councillor J. G. McCabe was first out the blocks and it went something like this:
Q: If we grant this application will any future building projects be prevented?
A: I’m sorry Councillor, but you shouldn’t take that into account when you look at the application. But if it was granted, then no, you wouldn’t be able to build on the land.
The audacity of these people, and in front of the public gallery and press. To make matters worse, the public were asked to leave whilst Mr Khan’s application was considered because certain legal advice had to be considered i.e. we don’t want the peasants to know what we really have planned. This meeting was advertised as an open affair, yet when it came to the crux of the matter, the public weren’t allowed to witness the proceedings.
Mr Khan will receive a letter in the post in the next few days outlining the decision of the Committee. Good night.
I have never witnessed such a bare faced case of gerrymandering in my life. The Council clearly have plans for this land and will stoop to any level in order to achieve what they want……even if it means making fools of the public along the way.