Previously planning decisions on local matters (individual houses in a ward, smaller developments in a ward) were decided on at the local Area Committees.
These committees consisted of Councillors from the local area, having more knowledge of the area and able to make better informed decisions. Further the meetings were in a relatively informal atmosphere and in the evenings and are able to take the amount of time required to properly consider the application, and therefore speaking at the committees was less threatening and more convenient for the public.
The new Labour administration have moved this to central planning meetings. This means attendance is harder, the atmosphere of the Guidhall more formal and intimidating for the public and a shorter period of time to consider these applications, and the lack of local knowledge means poorer decisions.
We the undersigned support moving planning back to area committees.