Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council have demanded the release of a peer review into the planning service of the Council.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council Steve Darling said “We have been promised copies of the action plan to tackle the issues identified in this report, weeks ago, but we have not received this information. I have also shared my concerns at the last Full Council that this report was being hushed up, but we have not received any reassurances. I am now demanding that the report is now released under the freedom of information act. “
He went on to say “Planning is a public service and we as Liberal Democrats believe that is the public purse has paid for a review of a service then the public should have sight of the findings.”
The email issued to Councillor King who has responsibility for the planning function of Torbay Council is as follows:
I am writing to you as you have responsibilities for the planning function on Torbay Council. I am now formally requesting a copy of the peer review of Torbay Council's planning function conducted by Plymouth City Council. Please treat this request as one under the Freedom Of Information Act.
I am disappointed that, despite this review being conducted some months ago, copies have not been made available to all elected members and the public. I met with officers some weeks ago and was assured that I would receive a copy of the key actions to tackle the issues found in this review. I am still awaiting this information.
For many members of the public planning is the function of the council that they are most likely to engage with. In my view we have had two significant planning failures in recent months. The fact that officers had to return to the planning committee with a further report regarding the redevelopment of the Pavilion and the shambolic management of the Parkfield planning application has brought this function of the council into disrepute. I am still awaiting guidance from officers regarding the site visit that was poorly managed.
At the last Full Council meeting I raised concerns that this report was being hidden from the public and to date I have not received any reassurance. I hope you can release this information with immediate effect.
Cllr Steve Darling
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group