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Time to shake up planning system

I WRITE in response to your article on John Gilbey’s letter indicating that, in his view, city or borough councils should have increased power. I believe in a level of further devolution and giving greater power to the people. I am, however, of the view that planning should be a power taken away from city or borough councils and moved to countywide authorities. Planning needs to be undertaken using a wider comprehension in order to bring jobs and homes together. The current system whereby central Government will only pay a percentage of a grant if the local authority builds loads of houses is unbelievably crass. We need a new initiative, not a thoughtless policy creating an inevitable overtaxing of infrastructure. Long-term misery for residents will be the result. We need to strengthen communities through the introduction of a gradual movement of many powers and funding away from city and borough councils to town councils and parish councils. Every community should have one. Let communities really manage their affairs through local democratic bodies.
A further urgent requirement is to implement a change in policy, initiating movement away from unelected boards and committees. These mysterious outfits are partly manned by unelected paid career committee members. The creation in recent times of these publicly unknown unelected bodies is an affront to all who pay taxes or vote. This type of arrangement has now Infiltrated from top to bottom. Our own city centre management is now delegated to those not elected or accountable. But having power to tax business. Unbelievable!

David Hirst,
City Councillor (UKIP)

Herne Bay Times, December 10th 2014

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