Grantham Journal letter: I do lobby on behalf of my residents

Charmaine Morgan - Labour
Charmaine Morgan - Labour
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In The Journal letters (August 15), HC Harding argues the case for Grantham to have a town council, a position I share.

However, she goes on to state that because her ward councillors in St Anne’s are both on the development control committee we are unable to ‘lobby’ on behalf of residents.

Whilst it is necessary to be mindful of the need to remain open-minded during committee, this statement does not reflect my own activity as a ward councillor for St Anne’s over the last few years. I have spent considerable time working with, and lobbying on behalf of residents, as those who I have worked with know.

I do however agree the current process needs fixing. When planning officers’ reports are drafted they consult with parish and town councils and their comments are recorded.

But, as HC Harding states, there is no democratically accountable equal body or collective voice to represent the residents and businesses of Grantham.

Whilst the development control committee members do not always support the town or parish council position, the current process is simply unfair.

Worse, if residents do not agree with the planning decision, they usually cannot afford to appeal.

I have suggested, until we get a town council, that officers at least consult with Grantham ward members and record their comments in the papers instead. This suggestion has yet to be taken up by SKDC.

But having a town council is not just about planning. Grantham needs a collective democratic voice at district, county and regional level. Every other town, and village has it. So why not us?

Coun Charmaine Morgan

District and county councillor