Grantham Journal columnist Coun Charmaine Morgan: A big move forward on dealing with planning cases

Charmaine Morgan
Charmaine Morgan
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After years arguing that there is an issue with the South Kesteven District Council planning process, I feel a breakthrough has finally been achieved. At this month’s Group Leaders’ meeting, it was agreed that in future if a planning officer is minded to ‘approve’ an application which a council member considers contentious then the case can be brought to the development control (planning) committee. Previously, the decision was down to the lead planning officer. Whilst the change will be monitored, it is a significant move forward.

We remain kept in the dark however, for the foreseeable future, over how the Government is negotiating Brexit terms. Millions, supporting all parties and none, voted for many different reasons and are left without transparency or ability to contribute toward the key negotiating terms. A patronising, ‘Go away and leave it to us’ is not an acceptable position for a democratic Government to take on such a complex issue with such a wide range of potential impacts from children’s rights, to environmental protection, workers rights, trade agreements and the future ability of people living here to stay and move freely through Europe.

In the meanwhile United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is also sitting behind closed doors to determine the fate of our vital A&E unit, now and in the longer term. The decision to close our unit at night ‘temporarily’ was made despite the vital resuscitation role it plays and the rights of local people (under NHS principles) to access care. Our elected representatives have unanimously called for it to be re-opened and our petition (continuing until 1 November at least) now has over 30,000 signatures. On 29 October we will shout from the rooftops. Will we be heard?