Feedback on the June meeting of Copeland Council

Copeland Borough council met this evening in the Copeland Centre at 5.00 pm.

The meeting began with prayers and a minute's silence in memory of those who lost their lives on 2nd June.

Highlights of the meeting included

1) This was the first meeting under a new constitution which is designed to create more opportunities for open debate and contributions from the public. It is important that these opportunities are better publicised.

For instance, it has been made easier for members of the public to ask questions of leading councillors at full council meetings and a trial is being introduced of a systen under which members of the public can ask questions at meetings of Copeland Council's executive about matters on the agenda.

We need to make sure that this is properly publicised because those rights are worthless if nobody knows how to take them up!

2) I raised the issue of proposed changes to the fire service in Whitehaven - it was agreed that the council's Overview and Scrutiny committees will look at this issue with a view to feeding in to public consultation due in September

3) Councillors of all parties agreed that it is extremely important that the West Cumberland Hospital rebuild - which has already started - gets the business case approved by September so that this essential work can be completed.

4) I also asked a question about the status of - dare I say it - Whitehaven Golf Course. The government is currently assessing by written representations whether to approve changing the route of the right of way through the site, and the deadline to write in and make your views known for this is 10th September . When the inspector delivers his verdict some months after that point, I was told that Copeland Council as planning authority will assess whether to require a new planning application or take any other enforcement action.

5) Copeland Homes will NOT be introducing any mandatory cleaning charges to clear rubbish from flats.

6) We have finally regained quality status for four beaches in Copeland back after three years.

The Labour council administration made a big fuss about getting quality status for these beaches about four years ago, and then failed to apply to renew it in 2007. Conservatives have been campaigning to get quality beach status back since then: we did eventually manage to get some support for this from the administration and it has now finally been achieved. Now we need to make sure it does not get lost again!


Anonymous said…
Re the Golf Course, it took you an awfully long time to get round to asking anything about it - 4 years!
As for "the deadline to write in and make your views known", it was 11 February 2010 not the 10 September, any representations not made by this date are not "duly made". This being the fourth attempt to move the footpath rather than 'assert and protect' our rights.
Chris Whiteside said…
Don't know how you work that one out: I wasn't on the council four years ago. And this is a long way from being the first time I've asked about it.

Unless I misheard him, 10th September was the date the portfolio holder gave at the meeting, but I'll check, and if it's wrong I will update the post.
Anonymous said…
The breach of planning control, the breaking of the law, and the endangerment of the public occurred in spring 2006, 4 years ago. What have ANY of our elected representatives done to enforce planning control let alone 'assert and protect' our rights and safety? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Chris Whiteside said…
That is not correct.

I am not at all satisfied with the manner this has been dealt with or the repeated delays, most recently in how long it has taken the government to decide whether to permit the moving of the right of way. A decision cannot be made on the right planning solution until this has been determined.

But to suggest nobody has made any attempt to raise the issue of the breach of planning control is simply not true.
Anonymous said…
The Legal processes are being CORRUPTED by all the authorities involved.
The Inspector for the Secretary of State rejected the proposal to move the path in August 2007. Since then repeated applications have been made to move the path until one is made that the Inspector can approve even though it wont be in the public interest, but who cares about the public, certainly not the authorities in Cumbria.
Chris Whiteside said…
I've asked both the portfolio holder and the council solicitor to check the dates.

It does seem to be taking an extremely long time for the government to reach a decision about whether to move the right of way. I'm not convinced that this is proof of corruption.
Chris Whiteside said…
Sorry, but accusing named officers of being a "corrupting influence" comes into the "potentially libellous" category and I don't permit posts like that.

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