Following dissatisfaction with the conduct of the recent Chesterton Development planning procedure by Cotswold District Council, SOC has submitted the following complaint. We will advise you of the Council’s response in due course.
From : Save Our Cirencester
Open Letter to the Monitoring Officer at Cotswold District Council
“23rd February 2018
Dear Ms Bhavna Patel,
Special Council Meeting 16th January 2018
Save Our Cirencester has received many expressions of concern from the community with regard to the participation of certain members in the meeting to determine the BDL planning application 16/00054/OUT on 16th January 2018. We wish to raise a formal complaint with regard to the following three matters:
- Two councillors, namely Cllr Shaun Parsons and Cllr Tony Berry, who had been specifically challenged at the beginning of the meeting over their membership of the Bull Club, were allowed to debate and vote. The President of the Bull Club is the applicant, Earl Bathurst, and the its Secretary is Edward Allsop, Earl Bathurst’s former agent and, until 22nd December 2017, also a Director of Bathurst Developments Ltd. Councillors Shaun Parsons and Tony Berry have a clear conflict of interest, and, in allowing those councillors to vote, CDC breached its own constitution (Section E5 8.1).
- Cllr Nicholas Parsons (Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Forward Planning) failed to declare, at the appropriate time, his membership of the Bull Club when influencing policy on the district’s housing distribution and formulating Bathurst’s Chesterton land as the sole strategic site within the draft Local Plan.
- Cllr Richard Morgan (Conservative councillor elected on 23rd November 2017) has no interests registered in the public domain (as of 22nd February 2018). CDC’s rules state that the personal register of interests has to be lodged within 28 days of being elected. Also, there is no evidence on the Member Questionnaire matrix that the mandated 1-to-1 interview with this councillor took place before his participation in the Special Council Meeting on 16th January 2018. Additionally, he did not attend the September Special Council Meeting. Cllr Morgan should therefore have been disqualified from participation and voting.
Save Our Cirencester ask that, within the next 5 working days, you investigate these matters and inform us of the procedure that will be followed during the investigation.
Save Our Cirencester”