Two complaints have been lodged by the MCA in relation to breaches of procedure by Bradford Council in respect of Planning Applications in the village. One of the complaints, launched by Alan Elsegood, is directed to The City Solicitor. This follows a challenge to Councillors on the Regulatory & Advisory Committee (formerly called the Planning Panel) about the fact that they were denied the opportunity to consider the flooding and drainage reports for the two sites, and four of the Councillors who had never seen the sites before and who didn’t even get off the bus for the “site visit”, voted without any understanding of the evidence. The complaint also alleges that the Councillors were misdirected by Legal Officers as to what was, and what wasn’t, a legitimate concern under planning law, and the Chairman of the R&A Committee (Leader of the Labour group on Bradford Council) put pressure on the Labour Councillors to vote on party lines. This complaint has also been submitted to the Local Government Ombudsman, as earlier complaints have not been answered or the LGO has been misinformed to the effect that the complaints had been resolved under Bradford Council’s internal procedures. Hopefully, the LGO will not be deceived this time and will conduct a thorough independent investigation.
Chairman of the MCA, Steve Ellams, (appointed last October) had raised a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman about procedural irregularities and the trivialisation by Bradford’s Planning Officers of the enormous number of complaints by residents of Menston, which were reduced to a handful of ‘bullet-points’ in the Officers’ report to the R&A Committee.
Confirmation of receipt of the complaints has been received, and the LGO advises that it has allocated the complaints to an Investigator. We await developments.