BNC Text J41

West Sussex Council: Strategic Planning Committee. Sample containing about 12908 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C474

PS3RB X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RC X m (Harold, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RD X m (Chris, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RE X m (Alan, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RF X f (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RG X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RH X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RJ X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3RK X m (Jim, age unknown) unspecified
J41PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J41PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 110601 recorded on 1994-01-12. LocationWest Sussex () Activity: strategic planning committee meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [1] Just one suggestion [...] worth mentioning erm [...] [paper rustling] one of those the er one on employment industry and commerce has now been printed and has been distributed and I hope that all members have now received.
[2] The other on population and housing, erm has been delayed in being sent to the printers, in order that we might incorporate some of the erm [...] information from last year er so that the document would be thereby erm even more er immediately useful and in consequence it won't be available until either the end of the month or the very beginning of February, but er progress is on a ... is in hand on that er that's all I wanted to say to you.
(PS3RB) [3] Thank you and you have seen the
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [4] Er Chairman yes, thank you erm there are a number of apologies this morning er on account of the erm er weather conditions, Mr , Mr , Mr , Mr and Mrs .
[5] Thank you Chairman.
(PS3RB) [6] Now on the [...] .
Harold (PS3RC) [7] Chairman, thank, thank you very much indeed erm ... [...] Chairman, I will in fact [...] and er perhaps if I read that in the first instance I haven't circulated it erm ... if I read that the first instance it will set the [...] of what I have to say.
[8] [clears throat] Er and the proposal that I shall report is the [...] [paper rustling] and in particular those matter our certainty of responsibility between various agencies needs to be addressed ... erm it arose obviously [...] are much more widespread than in the past week, but er I was granted in fact to give consideration to this result of the parish meeting, conventional routine parish meeting at Barnham er on the fourth of January erm which led to the largest parish meetings I think they've had in many years [...] erm when because people were incensed with the suffering and the hardship that they had as a result of the flooding on the night of Thursday the thirtieth of December ... erm ... should let me say first of all that erm ... I would congratulate all those who were involved er in dealing with the present emergency operations erm it's quite superb, it's erm it seemed to be erm a remarkable reflection on the capacity er that [...] to deal with certain circumstances reflects very well on this authority [...] and ... in saying that I mean it's not just the opposites to the men and women who are involved, but also whereas I'm sure many members are here that members amongst our numbers have putting on very long hours in dealing with the present circumstances and I congratulate on the activities [...] .
[9] [cough] The ... point that concerned must [...] reaction of the [...] was one that we've heard many times before ... who the hell's taking overall view of this?
[10] Why are there grave areas, areas of uncertainty and responsibility erm ... [...] Rivers Authority er Area Manager I believe, Mr er presented the position from their point of view er in particular circumstances on the night of [...] thirtieth December er the er [...] Southern Water whose responsibility is primarily sewage erm er describes circumstances that they have been contending with and a great deal of criticism erm was [...] what we had to anticipate if you like or do anything er to contend with the unusual circumstances of that night erm the consequence was that a large number of new houses in the very close to the [...] that runs through Barnham and under the railway there erm and er not ordinary surplus water flooding, but sewage flooding and the consequences [...] then for many years er it's obviously going to give, quite apart from having to live with it, er it will [...] on the properties themselves and adversely affect er the ability of individuals to sell them off.
[11] Er ... but that [...] were full of praise for the activities of the fire service in particular and whilst most [...] was levelled out the N R A Southern Water to some extent [...] District [...] local authority er were coping incredibly well and continue to do so.
[12] Er ... but there was an implication by implication [...] and the, the particular point [...] was the extent to which surplus water draining off fields er was [...] to the problem and we learnt from the Southern Water representative that there is a an area of uncertainty erm and divided responsibility perhaps erm ... about the ditches, about the highways in that vicinity.
[13] I gather that in general ditches are the responsibility of Southern Water and then in some point it'll change in [...] but er there are areas in the county er and upon this appears to be one where the ditches adjacent to the highway are the responsibility of the, the Highway Authority, that is the [...] County Surveyor, but it gives you an example of an area in which we [...] responsibility of the public er find it difficult to
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Harold (PS3RC) [14] understand why all the agencies involved [...] identify four in those circumstances I think in R A Southern Water [...] district to themselves, because we've got that information repeated across the county erm and it seemed to me important that erm ... somebody er accepted responsibility for taking an overall view of the circumstances [...] to er [...] merely because of course we can only concern ourselves with manmade er circumstances rather than er [...] erm ... but I think you know members would agree that as a strategic planning authority, we appear to be the only auth er the only body which can erm ... in the cold light of day we view the circumstances ... look at the implications for strategic planning and local planning and the suggestion of those developments [...] and obviously that would be a concern to us ... and er I felt and I have to [...] [unclear because of people whispering in the background for about two minutes] that it is an area of responsibility erm which er [...] within the [...] of this
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
Harold (PS3RC) [15] committee and that on behalf of West Sussex as a whole, we should grasp that responsibility, make it clear and I'm not talking about the emergency arrangements which we're coping with quite adequately it seems to me erm but I'm talking about the coordination and overview of all the er contributing factors erm so that we can demonstrate that there is ultimately one body who can take er a view of these matters er ensure that there are not grey areas in future and to er initiate er action wherever it may be dealt with necessary.
(PS3RB) [16] Thank you very much Mr , I just want to ... to ask if there were any legal observations?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [17] Er Chairman thank you erm the wording which we've been erm given by Mr erm refers to erm in particular those matters where uncertainty of responsibility between various agencies needs to be addressed ... erm as far as this committee is concerned of course, erm our erm er role is that as a strategic planning authority and er I'm quite sure that there will be erm an analysis after the event erm most likely by the Fire and Public Protection Committee who, to whom emergency planning erm are answerable and it's the Emergency Planning Team who shoulder our responsibilities as a County Council erm and er any implications then for the Strategic Planning Committee will no doubt be taken into.
[18] Erm if you wish to proceed with this proposal, I would suggest perhaps that erm it isn't uncertainty of responsibility but perhaps the extent of responsibilities and powers of the various agencies which need to be clarified and I, it is, it is pro probably that area which erm will be addressed by er th the analysis which takes place erm after the immediate problems are behind us er but certainly the implications for the Strategic Planning Committee erm and for, perhaps for local planning or something which erm the Chief Officers could be asked to report back to this Committee.
(PS3RB) [19] Now we've got four speakers so far on this matter er Chris [...]
Chris (PS3RD) [20] Yes thank you Chairman erm I think [...] important question [...] very similar question [...] I think we're ... we're all wondering whether the changed landscape of West Sussex, the changed use of [...] [howling wind in background] West Sussex has had any influence on the flooding and as the County Council has pointed out [...] worst amount of rain we've had for about seventy years or so I think it's very useful and important er to ask questions an and when this crisis is over we reflect on what we can learn from it, but I ... must bear in mind that it is first and foremost extraordinary climatic conditions which have caused these problems and that in itself of course might have implications erm ... the whole [...] of global warming does tend to come to mind when you see what's happening in Australia as well as what's happening here erm that's certainly not anything [giggle] that agencies great or small can have any control over.
[21] I wanted specifically to address myself to ... to one rumour which seems to be a circulating dilemma, a great deal of enthusiasm and I heard that at er Chichester Railway Station today erm ... the staff at Chichester Railway Station seem to be under the impression that the erm the emergency planning authorities er have imminent proposals to breach the railway line south of [...] to allow the flood water to escape to the sea, with the result so I was quite earnestly and er without any doubt that the railway will be closed for six months erm ... the, the Chairman of the County Council [...] just raised this issue with the Emergency Planning, I understand that this is er an unsubstantiated rumour and er ... that there be a an immediate er destruction of the [laughing] railways [] is not imminent but er I think perhaps it shows that erm probably due to the ... the great media interest and all sorts of stories are er doing a round but it goes without saying of course that the railway wasn't closed for six months [...] to the railway, but I don't think there is any er ... any prospect to that, but I think the Chairman [...] Council feels that [...] .
(PS3RB) [22] You want to say something?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [23] Yes Chairman I would.
[24] First of all I would like to say that I think erm much of, pretty well all of Mr has brought forward he, he, he's worthy of attention of support.
[25] Erm it w would be er ... pretty foolish I think after the lessons that have been learned about this that you know we should sink back i i into erm contentment as it were, er, er, er, er
(PS3RB) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [26] erm you know [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [27] perhaps in six months or in sixty years erm facing the same kind of problem again er I, I can erm I have ... close experience with a situation on my, on my own patch [...] which rises from time to time an and is most unpleasant for the people in [...] and it goes back if I might say so an and therefore the planning considerations that have been mentioned need to be paid attention to.
[28] It goes back to the fifties when the local authority, in this case the Worthing Rural District Council ... would not approve the plan for a ... small development [...] A Twenty Seven in [...] near the roundabout at [...] Manor.
[29] Er the developers as we all know have a right to go to appeal which they did and [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [30] of the day I don't [...] which government it was at that time cos it was in the fifties ... okayed it and
(PS3RB) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [31] th th the building went ahead and ... people ... every year or two sometimes twice in a year get flooded and they get sewages [...] the ... the sewer [...] with the volume of rain water they can't otherwise get away, but it brings to light what happens i i i in the ditches and, and the waterways that are spread across the direction of [...] Airport and then out into the river [...] when the tide is low because the switches close when the tide comes in and basically er and this is up to date information ... the information that I have is that the channels are the responsibility of the [...] ... er you know [...] responsibilities are either kept cleared or not clogged up and in connection with the, with the [...] incident [clears throat] I, I did hear it said that in, in a place where once said it usually counts that ... possibly and more than [...] the ... that the first flood was due because the drains and the ditches couldn't take the volume of water after they were cleared ... and things have been ... pretty reasonable erm since that time, so it would seem to ... confirm what, what I have to say about keeping clear erm but it may be that ... authorities that weren't responsible had the job of cleaning them, I don't know.
[32] But here in Chichester Chairman, it's er a pretty serious situation where you've got a ... a small river ... causing tremendous volumes of water er levels of which I think have never been experienced with anybody er [...] going through a very small [...] city ... built in eighteen hundreds I don't know what time and date you know, but a very long time ago.
[33] Erm the volume i i is tremendous [...] [microphone moved] and er one worries about the effect of the surging waters on such an old construction, now we [...] far worse than [...] [too far away from the microphone] and consequently the emergency services have had to consider all sorts of alternatives, some of which you see now with the piping ... on, on the surface of [...] it's been having a good result [...] the immediate problem, but you can't stop there and the emergency team have given consideration to all sorts of other possible temporary solutions in the event [...] or that the pumping failed and er I think that's possibly where this rumour about erm the railway line arrived but er I think Chairman I've said enough, we all, we would all agree I think that the emergency workers have performed [...] er I think we're all pleased to see the army coming in erm and doing what they've done and erm I certainly er appreciated the opportunity to come in on the old A Twenty Seven through West [...] it took my mind back er many years I can tell you [giggle] and erm ... I, I think congratulations all round are due, but I come back to what's all saying and which I support as it would be a folly when the dust has settled [...] erm to really take a ... an objective er position and see that ... er arrangements are in hand ... channels and things like that will not again be supercharged in the way they are.
(PS3RB) [34] I've been generous in the latitude I've given to speakers in ... talking to this proposal, but it is quite specific about the ... the review of er responsibilities ... [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [35] Erm well can I er carry on the erm but er no shortly.
[36] The ... [...] sadness and this is this subject was forecast a year and a half ago er that we are phasing in i in large management and land [...] and it was raised, we had that seminar but before that there were also erm worries expressed before this predicament.
[37] Erm I know it's associated with over extraction of water at certain points but [giggle] but be that as it may, but in the old days the Sussex Lands [...] Committee er used to be er a county function and did take an overview erm of the whole West Sussex scene in terms of what happened erm it is now really now erm not our responsibility, although we put members on it, it's a now fairly weak er joint body but it's pretty toothless.
[38] One of the problems a few people said [...] clear the ditches, well that's not true we, there is a, there is a, the law is erm very er diverse on this subject, it's er [...] in certain cases, it's landowners, the farmers erm and that those have been neglected, we're paying the cost of really complacency.
[39] Well okay, we know that now and I think a lot of people have er taken up er that into account.
[40] Erm I don't think that as a committee that we should be getting into the detail necessary of what's going wrong and I think er Harold made that quite well.
[41] Look at the implications looking back over it when ... when Fire and Public Protection had produced their report, but certainly the things are and it's quite clear that we all know this case in my particular the river [...] has been constricted by some thoroughly bad planning decisions and development control districts and they're paying them that the owners are paying the penalty for that erm [...] reducing the ditches and er building over them and okay we've got problems erm so er ... there are structure plan implications erm which I don't I think we should miss and if we say that really building on a [...] is a principle well then we should try it right into the structure plan or looking at local plans for approval that we actually look at this a little bit more carefully.
[42] Now the thing that worries me is that the N R A and our linkage with them is I don't think it's early days for them and they haven't got the ... the power and the erm law behind them to enforce it as the way which I think most of us would like to think of have a erm erm an organization tha that can in fact start bringing the law in that if people fail to do what they say erm so that aspect I think I ... now Chris also mentioned this erm tilting in West Sussex and again that [...] mentioned in the structure plan, because I [...] six mill a year but in ten years that's two and a half inches.
[43] Now the implication of that is that the tide flaps and the sluices er will operate it slightly less frequently in ten years.
[44] The [...] Chairman of the [...] erm that is already occurring, we've had a number of reports erm already er [...] flooding is based on a tide flap system erm ... so those you know we're gonna have to live with that over the years.
[45] Now we've got another opportunity system, erm but it's too early they think that the ... the water [...] is coming up in I think February isn't it ... another or was it the coastal [...] but it's [...] with [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [46] but whether we want at the end of it to have another water seminar, looking instead of extraction side [laughing] but what the water companies are doing with our rivers it might not be a bad idea [] as part of er producing a considered view later on in the year ... but I don't, I don't think we can hurry this as there's a lot of lessons to be learnt and I ... I don't think we should do the work in the Fire and Public Protection Committee erm ... in ... getting our erm eyes taken off the [...] dealing with the actual problem at the moment, we want to look, step, step back and say well what ... what was the cause of all that, but I do support [...] erm proposal that we should have it listed as er
(PS3RB) [47] This proposal has whetted peoples appetites are formal speakers erm Mr ?
Alan (PS3RE) [48] Yeah, thank you Chairman, I think [...] was right and proper, we should congratulate the services involved in dealing with this emergency.
[49] They've been working very hard, in some cases [...] long hours [...] [paper rustling] I think it's right because this is a similar discussion we had by ... Public Protection Committee about a report and the main thing about the report is to find ways in which this could be avoided and that we could take such action as necessary and obviously some matters [...] to avoid such a [...] happening again ... but having said that other parts of West Sussex have always tended to be erm when you get excess rain erm you tend to get flooded in [...] on the train many times [...] some houses have got boats down the bottom of their garden and it's not just now it's been flooded, but it has been flooded in more recent times and that's probably something we should be looking at.
[50] If we're looking at the question of services coming together to deal with the emergency erm obviously I suppose the army and that will come in on a voluntary basis which [...] but it might be necessary to see where someone could be authority to coordinate the services and bring it whatever is required.
[51] One question I did ask at the Fire and Public Protection Committees what happens when you don't, when we bring in a unity authority status.
[52] What happens if we've got an emergency situation and how come when you got about three or four different authorities to deal with that matter and the other thing that has been said [giggle] people said it to me, the question of building ... and in some parts of West Sussex we've got concrete jungles and that itself can cause flooding because water doesn't drain [...] would do through natural resources through its natural ... well drain away.
[53] So yeah, I support the Committee, I think ... on the question of the report I think we need to be absolutely specific about what committee deal with what issue of that report.
(PS3RB) [54] Thank you.
[55] Mrs ?
(PS3RF) [56] Chairman, you've been so generous in this particular item and I'll be as quick as I can.
[57] There seems to be a consensus opinion, so i it doesn't seem to be necessary for me to [...] it, but if it's necessary I do so.
[58] One can look back in eighty seven when we had that terrible storm and they said well once in a hundred years and then we had a storm very similar [...] I think it is essential we look
(PS3RB) [cough]
(PS3RF) [59] look into this erm we always consult with the water authorities on any planning application and it is up to them to say whether there should be flooding or not.
[60] I think that they are only just getting into their stride on this particular issue, because some years ago we had flooding in Worthing, quite severe flooding, so every application went to the Southern Water Authority and we never got back no, you can't develop [laughing] on that area [] and it was, it was very difficult.
[61] Erm ... I can only say that I believe that there should be an examination of them erm we need to know exactly erm ... what brought about these tremendous floods.
[62] We have heard on the television that there will be another [...] and there are lots of people who are in, in absolute despair, because of what happened to their houses and their properties and their furniture and everything else and I think it is only right and proper and I can only say that West Sussex County Council has ... [...] by so many people that it has
(PS3RB) [cough]
(PS3RF) [63] brought about or alleviated all the pain and anxiety on [...]
(PS3RB) [64] Mr ?
(PS3RG) [65] Yes erm my point is the erm the reserve the section that comes out ... erm that's not dealt with local authorities [...] experienced two weeks ago worst flooded [...] .
[66] This was caused apparently [...] by a private [...] .
[67] Is there any way the Council can erm control private properties water [...] er the damage [...] can do in such situations as this?
(PS3RB) [68] I'm sure that will be covered ... [sigh] this word responsibility frightens me or makes me apprehensive.
[69] Er Mr ?
(PS3RH) [70] Thank you Chairman.
[71] Well yes it is certainly fascinating to hear the views of, of members an and indeed it, it's tempting to go on I think about [...] or personal experience of floods, but this is not the time or the place I would suggest to do that [...] erm strategic planning seems to me has been the venue for discussions with Southern Water Authority with the National Rivers Authority itself, we are the committee that tries to look many, many years ahead.
[72] We have a particular role which is different er indeed to Fire and Public Protection, although I accept the fact that they have the overview for emergency planning.
[73] We have a different role, but nevertheless and even, an important one is perhaps in even looking further ahead than the Emergency Planning [...] and therefore I would support er in being brief I would support very much erm Mr 's er motion if you can call it a motion which has been seconded and I hope that other members will ... will agree that erm we can pass this on to the Chief Executive who obviously will be doing this in any case, but it would give er a a an added er measure if you like er I'm talking in terms of member involvement in pressing for er a wider look of what has happened after this sad flood has been dealt with.
(PS3RB) [74] John [...] was need to reply to [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [whispering] [...] []
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [75] Thank you Chairman erm ... I don't I need to say a great deal because the comments that have been made I think are very thoroughly and expertly covered most of the ground in terms of the ... the issues that are being raised and can I say that although er ... a number of Chief Officers, a number of departments and I suspect a number of committees will be looking at what has happened and er seeking in both to find out why it has happened and what might be done in the future ... erm I certainly recognize that it's er a role responsibility of this committee and of er me and the Planning Department to consider the implications for strategic planning and for the related functions and that erm it won't be a, a, a happy task because er purely it's something that all of us would have hoped hadn't happened at all but I will er very er thoroughly er explore the issues and report it back.
[76] The, the only thing that I would say Chairman is that erm planning and er ... er the role of planning is related amongst other things to development and every single solitary er element in development has an effect, maybe only small and it may be distant, but does have an effect on er water falling as rain and thereby on run-off.
[77] Erm every new square inch of hard surface on the ground or roofing er means that less rain when it falls will er move into the ground or will run off more quickly or rapidly fill the water courses and er sooner reach the points of constriction that we know about and cause flooding problems.
[78] Therefore as well as it being a problem of development within the flood plain it is also a problem of development beyond the flood plain ... and as well as development and I er think this in no way intending to spread the blame, but is a, is a er an observation which er I think is quite clear and that is that farming practices erm can have both beneficial and adverse effects on water regimes
(PS3RB) [blowing nose]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [79] the introduction of additional drainage er within a field, for er example itself can increase the rate of run-off.
[80] Similarly a different regime of cropping can er in some instances reduce the amount of run-off and increase the absorption er capability er of the land.
[81] That I think is something that perhaps also needs to be borne in mind, when we are undertaking er this particular study.
[82] The message Chairman an and er having an idea of, of your second item of urgent business erm it, this perhaps provides the link ... the important er point that I wanted to emphasise was that the issue of rainfall, the defect on erm the drainage of an area and er water catchment areas and so on, drainage basins is a matter which can only be dealt with at the strategic level and it is therefore of considerable concern to me in view of local government and the questions that is raising about the future of strategic planning could actually make this coordination much more difficult in the future, unless we take steps now to protect the er strategic planning, whatever form local government takes strategic planning itself also needs a degree of [...]
(PS3RB) [cough]
Harold (PS3RC) [83] to allow us to deal with these issues.
(PS3RB) [84] Thank you very much.
[85] Well I'm very grateful to Mr for raising this in such a [...] way and for the members' contribution.
[86] Could I remind you that Policy G One, a very opening policy in the ... structure plan says that planning authorities will not normally permit development which will cause unacceptable nuisance or danger by way of flooding.
[87] It's there ... and er that I'm sure was the opening observation in the paper that will be written about responsibility and [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
(PS3RB) [88] the other matters.
[89] I'm grateful to Mr for raising this very fundamental question which I wished simply to comment on about the strategic aspects, I mean in Chichester we've now had, as you all know, fire and flood and we have the pestilence with us!
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [90] And erm
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [91] I did want ... er ... Mr to say something about the pestilence, because it is a very serious matter for this Committee.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RJ) [92] [...] reference to the local government [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RJ) [93] Chairman [...]
(PS3RB) [94] We've, we've accepted I think I'm say I should be saying we have accepted this er proposal ... by implication.
(PS3RJ) [95] Well could we [...]
(PS3RB) [96] Formally?
(PS3RJ) [97] Formally.
(PS3RB) [98] Yes please.
[99] Thank you ... and I am grateful.
[100] Could you refer to this ... pestilence?
(PS3RJ) [101] Pestilence Chairman I, I, I think that you are inviting me to say something about er local government review and the erm
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RJ) [102] th the problems that that is causing erm ... I'm ... obviously I, I, you know very well I can talk for hours on, on many subjects and this is one of those that I can do so.
(PS3RB) [103] Can you just highlight it by Mr on this.
(PS3RJ) [104] In indeed.
[105] Erm ... I, I think that erm the er concern that erm we all have relating to local government view erm is ... er that ... it caused changes in [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
(PS3RJ) [106] cost money, but as far as this committee is concerned the one, of the particular threats is to strategic planning an and that's something I, I referred to a moment or two ago.
[107] Erm the ... following the ... the last meeting of the committee, erm ... the ... matter was er raised by your Chairman and er he asked me to send to all of you er a copy of an extract from the erm Commissions Report relating to Derbyshire and a copy of a Department of the Environment press release of the twenty second of October which refers to one or two things that er David Curry had said about strategic planning and that was sent out to all members of the committee on the twenty second of November and erm n not expecting you to have brought back with you or to have remembered exactly what it said, perhaps I can just erm refer to the, the options for erm strategic planning that were outlined by Mr Curry in that press release and i the er erm er paper that he had delivered.
[108] Er the three options were joint authorities er this would mean er unitary authorities within an area joining together and forming some sort of er joint committee arrangements and joint staffing arrangements to prepare a plan over a wider area.
[109] ... There would be erm the possibility of the unitary authorities themselves getting together to prepare joint structure plans, so in as, as, instead of having a joint authority with er ... members joining in, in one committee to oversee the preparation of the plan, there would be individual authorities er working to their own committees with members er operating separately, but preparing through that mechanism a joint structure plan and the third option would be for each authority itself to prepare a unitary development plan, incorporating both strategic policies and the sorts of policies that we are currently seeing and familiar with in local plans.
[110] Now ... I think that the concern that erm I have, and it's shared by colleagues I have to say at both County and at er District Council level, is that none of those will really fully provide a proper strategic planning service and therefore the, the, the threat to proper ... forward planning of a coordinated nature across a wider area of land such as is er currently taking place in Sussex, West Sussex and other counties and which is desperately needed as we've seen in the context of the flooding that we've just been talking about, that is in er great danger of being undermined and the alternatives that the government is, is putting forward would in my view not go anywhere at all towards meeting the needs of strategic planning.
[111] ... As well therefore as the arguments er that we are familiar with about er local government and the effect that it might have or might not have on West Sussex, one particular argument is I think erm something that this committee should be very concerned about an and should be er seeking to influence the, the outcome over is that of future of structure planning and the strategic planning as a whole.
[112] I, I hope I've covered the ground that you were hoping I would Chairman.
[113] If you want me to say [laughing] anything more [] just give me a kick and I'll add something more.
(PS3RB) [114] No I simply wanted members to be aware that there is a very [...] issue.
[115] Mr .
Jim (PS3RK) [116] Thank you Chairman.
[117] ... Er with reference to the great pestilence er makes me think of the original great pestilence, the Black Death and of course er contaminated individuals be put in a pest house far away from places of habitation ... but they can contaminate others which one can't help thinking that it would be quite a good ... policy [...] has commissioned.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [giggle]
Jim (PS3RK) [118] And perhaps we could open up the pest house [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Jim (PS3RK) [119] I can seriously erm ... [...] comments really made my blood run cold, particularly on option three.
[120] The idea of unitary authorities [...] structure plans, er I think could only be a disaster and the first option which is the most viable, could of course be a dissipation of [...] democracy of the indirect democracy er because erm ... I think what you probably have is a number of officers, civil servants and a scattering of councillors er and really the ... the direct local involvement which we have now through directly elected councillors on, on planning committees and strategic planning committees would have [...] .
[121] I am also concerned that if these new unitary authorities come into effect, it seems er reasonable to assume the majority of members will be all the district councillors er whose involvement in planning of course is very different to our own and therefore their understanding of strategic planning, their appreciation of its importance will be far less ... and we could actually find that these planning committees [...] authorities are really old district planning committees and the new [...] and er there really could be quite serious implications for a whole number of things in Sussex I mean ... we know that the planning department is at the moment trying to erm create er a new and vibrant [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Jim (PS3RK) [122] tourism in West Sussex I mean what would happen to that is just one example er on a broader level, the County Council is working with the European regions to promote West Sussex in Europe and what would happen to that, the only conclusion we could draw is that these policies would crumble ... and to er seriously affect West Sussex and finally I come back to the point that, that I will keep making, if I ever get the opportunity, namely the cost of this exercise.
[123] We know that the actual reorganization is going to cost thirty million ... I would have thought that every possible drainage problem could ever [...] West Sussex could easily be rectified with thirty million pounds and we could all name a project er on which we would like to spend thirty million pounds.
[124] I would have thought it would be very difficult to find anyone in West Sussex who is enthusiastic and keen with thirty million pounds to be sent to the local government reorganization.
[125] All we can do I think is resist this strongly and [...] the whole idea for reorganization particularly this time.
(PS3RB) [126] We're stepping a bit outside.
[127] I was anxious to alert people to the ... to the specific issue of strategic planning ... I didn't want to [clears throat] step outside of that.
[128] ... Well perhaps we should now therefore move to the agenda proper.
[129] Application [...] there have been three meetings er [...] those meetings ... [...] those.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [130] Er I just wanted ... one erm one, two three of ... the [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [131] third of November ... er ... I guess that they gave ... erm information about Westbourne Parish Council's local paper er erm agreed.
[132] It isn't mentioned there.
(PS3RB) [133] How do we deal with that?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [134] You just ... well it's [...] local members [...] tha tha that is, but the fact is that also you have er a letter from Westbourne Parish Council.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [135] Er Chairman
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [136] And of committee and of [...] ... sorry a special [...] erm ... meeting between the four officers that produced minutes to all part and this was one of them about this particular issue, which just ... just is just to record that Westbourne's Parish Council's er views were taken into account.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [137] Chairman, if I ... if I may say that the erm the er minutes of that committee were approved by [...] sub-committee at their subsequent meeting on the twenty fourth of November erm
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [138] I don't think [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [139] Absolutely.
[140] I, I, I see that y you weren't there at that meeting on
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [141] No, but
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [142] We, we can record that comment er now in a minute at
(PS3RB) [143] Can we?
[144] Oh that's fine.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [145] this meeting but er the minutes have already been considered.
(PS3RB) [146] Is that er is that [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [...]
(PS3RB) [147] Right, we receive er those three lots [...] .
[148] Thank you.
[149] Now the mineral subs sub-committee.
[150] I, I did say to the County Planning Officer that I thought that whoever had wr written this er these pages have captured ... the ... very well ... er very si the spirit of that an and the er ... we seem to have a very successful meeting on that
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [151] Yes.
[152] Yeah that indeed.
(PS3RB) [153] and this conveys the flavour of that.
[154] We were most anxious to keep the full [...] informed of what's happening and we seem to be on top of the job as it were.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [155] The person who wrote it Chairman is sitting over ...
(PS3RB) [156] Ah.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [...] [laugh]
(PS3RB) [157] But I think it is important to keep the full committee abreast of the activities of the sub-committee.
[158] ... So we receive those.
[159] Now the capital programme and the revenue budget, I, I think you [...] questions, it's not a big deal.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [160] Chairman, I, I, I, I'd love to, but I had agreed er with Jim [...] that Jim will introduce this [...]
(PS3RB) [161] Oh, I'm sorry
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [162] Whilst I'm happy to answer questions when they, when they arise, I wouldn't like to steal Jim's [...]
(PS3RB) [163] Sorry.
[164] Sorry.
Jim (PS3RK) [165] Okay.
[166] Committee has the choice to spend on [...] capital and that's exercised through the ... a mechanism if you spend in capital in the mortgage charge comes through as a, as a revenue charge to you, so you have now paid for mortgage charges and capital schemes or you can pay for er for revenue schemes and this budget reflects its priority on revenue spending.
[167] The revenue budget then, there's a summary attached to appendix two here and the detail of the budget is, if the members, if the members are so interested and want to see the ... the [...] spent.
[168] The headline is that the budget for ninety four ninety five is two point two million pounds and that's an increase of eighty four thousand pounds or ... [...] four percent on the original budget for current year and that increase of eighty four thousand pounds and it's split into three elements for you.
[169] First [...] was the increase for inflation and that comes to fifty three thousand pounds ... this is referred to in paragraph four ... [...] thousand pounds is equivalent to two point six percent and the committee's fully protected for inflation.
[170] ... The second element is the real increased resources for the committee and that comes to thirty five thousand pounds and that's something at one point six percent.
[171] Now if you can just say on that, that that excludes any resources for the economic development action plan [...] and for the time being resources for that initiative are being held centrally into Personnel and Finance sub-committee's budget and as the action plans develop then money will be released from a contingency there to er go to the Planning Department or to whichever department that has actually been implementing that particular part of the action.
[172] The final element in the change of eighty four thousand pounds between years is the reduction in the committee's budget four thousand pounds for efficiency savings, which we discussed and agreed at the meeting in September.
[173] ... Focusing then on how the new money has been spent, and this is covered in paragraph seven and eight of the report ... the thirty five thousand pounds conditional resources for Policy Resources Committee has been added to by six thousand seven hundred which er savings from existing budgets within the committee so there's a total of forty one thousand seven hundred to er each new developments or er or other pressures within the committee ... and the items that you see before you here have been discussed between the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of this committee er County Planning Officer and Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Policy Resources Committee, so it's these sorts of discussions that these items have arisen in front of you.
[174] If I can reasonably summarize what they are there, there's four items there er ... outlined in paragraph eight.
[175] Firstly there's additional support which will take the form of additional members of staff to support with a range of er initiatives and developments within the department erm there's a lot [...] Planning Department, in terms of economic development and tourism developments, local planning work erm ... making applications for grants and,an and there's a need for additional support to support that range of work there.
[176] The second item is the loss of grant for an archaeology assistant three thousand eight hundred pounds, this is one of these things where we've had [...] English Heritage at our [...] grant and has tapered to fade out.
[177] This is final year, ninety four is the final year of that grant, so to maintain the enhanced level of service that there were it was set up we'd need to put some of our own money into that.
[178] The item below that is the shortfall in planning application fees, this is application fees for er mineral extraction applications which are, these are set as a statutory charge erm ... we've picked up in the budget monitoring reports which have been to previous committees that the [...] from this source has been falling off, as a few words explain that in this paragraph.
[179] We anticipate a shortfall of fifteen thousand pounds compared to our original budget and what we've done in that is we've taken an element of seven thousand in a sense below the line so that it doesn't affect this committee, but this committee has had to find eight thousand pounds with that shortfall and now the bulk of that has been met by the savings we found elsewhere in the budget ... and the final item there is er setting up a consultants budget of ten thousand pounds, there's not a ... consultants budget of any significance at, at the moment of the committee erm the County Planning Officer anticipates there's a need for consultants in the minerals local plan work which we're coming into this year and also to assist in environmental assessments er and special [...] on that.
[180] ... So these are the areas for the new monies being spent and as I said earlier as the economic development action plan is developed, it will be an opportunity to go forward to the th th [...] t t to fund that initiative.
[181] The recommendations in paragraph ten er ask you to approve the capital programme and the revenue budget and the staffing for the committee and that, that's the increase of the one post I mean I referred to you earlier and if the committee approves this budget, will put forward to the Policy and Resources Committee on the thirty first of January which will consolidate the budgets for all the ... er services and make final decisions on how that's to be [...] and reset for the next [...] .
[182] Thank you.
(PS3RB) [183] Thank you Jim.
[184] Now Constance .
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [185] Thank you Chairman.
(PS3RB) [186] I've forgotten my new year's resolution which is to use christian names.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [187] Well I must say I, I very much [...] it.
[188] Very much.
(PS3RB) [189] Back, back to basics.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [190] Back to basics.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [191] Just one or two erm questions if I may erm reduction in use of staff advertising this is what we're looking at when we're talking about [...] we've managed to do that unless we don't anticipate [...] in the near future when we've already [...] .
[192] Erm er changes in the central charges which always intrigues me I'd like to know [...] and erm if I may go back to erm paragraph seven where we're saying ... you know allocated thirty five thousand in the committee [...] development over and above the effects of inflation an and this subject [...] six thousand seven hundred recycled savings is available for some revenue development or mortgage charges and then if we look at eight and shortfall in planning applications we are going to use that six thousand seven hundred to write off a shortfall in the planning applications.
[193] Come off it I'm afraid, we can't do them both ways [...] .
(PS3RB) [194] Right.
[195] We'll, we'll deal with the points of their [...] .
[196] Neil .
(PS3RB) [197] Yes I ... I don't believe it will have major [...] clarification erm on the [...] administrative support, shown there as nineteen thousand nine hundred for an additional senior member of staff, if you look at appendix ... sorry the [...] on personnel shows the pay cost as one thousand two hundred and sixty one pounds.
[198] I just wonder, I mean is the nineteen thousand six hundred a full year cost, so which figure is right [...] ?
[199] I just misunderstood the whole ... the whole figures.
[200] ... That's point one erm ... point two on the planning application fees I realize that a number of planning applications are down somewhere else [...] erm it says that planning application fees are going to be increased by fifteen percent and there by thirteen percent.
[201] Is that [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
(PS3RB) [202] and the third thing is erm ... I frankly don't understand ... perhaps it's the same point as er [...] that this below the line item, I mean it's taken below the line it must come from somewhere.
[203] I just don't understand, I don't understand th the way it works.
(PS3RB) [204] Alan .
Alan (PS3RE) [205] Yeah thank you Chairman.
[206] Point four the sums included with the paying increase, the one point five ... and negotiated seven ... staff ... and er on that or are we sort of governed by the financial cr criteria government ... and also are there other departments or staff within the Town Hall will receive a higher increase [...] .
(PS3RB) [207] I think that's your six questions.
Jim (PS3RK) [208] Right I think I've got six down here.
[209] Erm ... taking on the [...] here.
[210] On the question of staff turnover erm ... on the saving advertising [...] I think that reflects th the drop of staff turnover over the years and there is a budget [...] which is an historical budget [...] against that and clearly in the current situation less staff are leaving [...] like that erm so that's one of these [...] .
[211] The central charges as [...] items is ... that it refers to the charges from my own department, legal department, all the other central departments and an input to er ... the Strategic Planning Committee operating, but it's not items that the Strategic Planning Committee has a control over, so there's a change, an estimated change of cost and sometimes that reflects the changes in methodology of agricultural cost and that seems to be happening at the moment.
[212] So you get the cost for that, you also get the budget for it, so it doesn't affect the ... the resources in that sense [...] .
[213] ... The question on
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [214] The methodology if I may use the word I dislike it intensely erm [...] questionable point.
Jim (PS3RK) [215] Th this is something that is developing members will be aware of the er proposals for er ... competition for white collar services and ... we sh we recharge these costs at the moment [...] historic leases and ... the central departments are at the moment developing er [...] trading accounts for all these and as we develop that work we ... we can correct our previous charges so there will be some sort of ... changes in the way we charge and as I say that's coming through in these costs [...] committees [...] because it's ... it's shifting money around between different committees so we shifted the budget at the same time.
[216] I mean that's the som that's er an issue that er has been dealt with I think it's policy resources can [...] continue to be so in the coming years.
[217] ... On the personnel table, I ... I'm not quite sure about the standard point, there is one edition [...] that the pay cost is one million hundred and sixty one thousand [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [...]
Jim (PS3RK) [218] total cost
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [219] I'm sorry.
[220] Well can I ... can I amend my question I mean is the [...] is that a full year cost or is it let me try it again erm [...] .
Jim (PS3RK) [221] It is a full year cost, there will be some on costs included in that.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [222] Right.
(PS3RB) [223] [...] Next one.
Jim (PS3RK) [224] Can I deal with the inflation ones first as being er [...] point [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Jim (PS3RK) [225] I, there was a question on the ... paragraph four in the amongst [...] inflation or was it the ... appendix.
[226] If I can explain inflation which included in the budget at this stage is inflation between November ninety two and November ninety three, so inflation from today if you like er or last November, through to the end of the year, that is provided for in the central contingency of the authority and as pay awards are awarded [...] the money we drawn down from that into the planning committee so the amount there would [...] one point five percent of pay and four point two percent from general [...] commission, that's reflecting inflation that's already happening and is up [...] last year's budget to ... to the position today if you like so one point five percent of pay was the A P T C award for July ninety two, sorry ninety three and we're not anticipating here what the pay award will be for ... the coming year, that is dealt with centrally.
[227] ... Planning application fees.
(PS3RB) [228] Well John says he can answer that.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [229] [laugh] John and I had long discussions on planning applications, I shall be interested to hear [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [230] Who's going to do it?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [231] I'll try first yes [...] if I may.
[232] Erm first, first of all erm Sue has, has just er reminded me that the, the government is, is considering the matter of planning application fees and we understand that there could be some proposals which erm modify the way in which er those fees are set and may give a greater erm autonomy to local authorities to set their own level of fees, in order to allow them to erm recoup erm more of or perhaps even all of the costs of operating the service, but that is something that's er definitely for the future er and er is, is not entirely [...] .
[233] For the moment we have to charge the fee, we cannot waive it, but we have to charge it, but we have to charge it at the level that is set by the government and which is subject to review and er and er Mr [...] has, has drawn our attention to has recently been increased.
[234] The ... problem however is there's, there is no standard fee per application and er I think that that's not at all unreasonable.
[235] The fee there is according to the size and scale of development.
[236] U unfortunately it's not a perfect system because in relation to mineral applications, whilst as you would expect the largest fees are associated with the largest areas of er application for new mineral working and whilst it has to be admitted that those sorts of applications do take a lot of time in order to process them.
[237] The amount of time, officer time taken to process an application for a modification to an existing permission is still substantial and in some cases can be even more than that per a new proposal, but in those circumstances, and this is just by way of illustration because the ... the actual fee regime is, is very variable, by way of illustration the fee chargeable for a ... a, a modification is much less than for the application as a whole er f for, for the er er working as a whole.
[238] Now in recent years, what has happened is that because of the recession, mineral operators instead of looking for enormous new areas to work have been seeking to erm ... improve er through their own review processes, the working within their existing sites and perhaps to go for some modest increases, so the number of applications has kept up, the amount of work that we are engaged in has er been at least as much as in the past and in some cases because of enforcement matters has been greater, but the fee income has been slipping.
[239] I have some illustrative figures in front of me erm [laughing] which I ... I [] thought a question of this nature might, might crop up, erm th the figures aren't absolutely accurate, they were pulled off the file very quickly and er they may be out by er er er er a small amount, but they, they certainly illustrate the point.
[240] In er nineteen eighty nine ninety financial year for example there were forty one applications and the fee income from that was forty four thousand.
[241] Erm in the following year the number of applications went up by something over twenty percent up to fifty four, but the total fee income fell slightly.
[242] In the following year, ninety one ninety two, the number of applications held steady, but the total fee income declined slightly and in nineteen ninety two ninety three, whilst the number of applications fell slightly, the fee income fell considerably, so that in ninety two ninety three er there were more applications than in the,th the first of those, of those years that I quoted, but the fee income was twenty five percent down.
[243] The current year, the ninety three ninety four year I have figures only up to the end of December and in comparison to the previous full twelve months the number of applications is almost as high in the first three quarters of the year ... but the fee income is about half what had been received for the full previous year and that is the problem that we're facing, that the number of applications, the amount of work is, is staying the same or is indeed increasing slightly, er but the fee income, because of the nature of the ... the applications and the fee regime that is charged, is actually falling off quite rapidly.
[244] That may change and as we move out of the recession hopefully, er the er erm position will improve, but it does mean that for next year we are not in a position to er achieve the level of income that the, the current year's budget er required us to and which er on a normal knock-on basis as this element of the budget moves on from year to year, we wouldn't er have very much hope I would er put to you of actually meeting the level of income that would allow us to operate er a standstill budget in, in this area.
(PS3RB) [245] I'm still not sure whether [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [246] Thank you Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [247] [laugh] Sorry.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [248] Really that's very interesting and I accept that erm I personally [...] was do the figures include the anticipated increase which we already know?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [249] Yes.
[250] [laugh] A short answer very much shorter answer is yes.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [251] I, I, I think later on [...] increases from January ninety four and January ninety five if I'm right, that doesn't include these increases, these are prices based on
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [252] [...] there will be [...] financial year you get fifteen percent on whatever
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [253] Yes
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [254] but then you would, we would in fact [...] budget increase as well in the same way as you'll ... when there's an, if ... if there was a pay award and you get an inflation allowance with the pay award the same way as in the statutory charges increases [...] budget will increase as well, which ... in that sense was [laughing] against []
(PS3RB) [255] Now there's one more question outstanding the below the line manoeuvring of recycled savings.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [256] Th this does come back to the [laughing] planning application [] [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [257] erm the normal disciplines that the County Council applied on income headings is that if income varies for reasons of er ... [...] conditions for example and this is in a way akin to that, then the committee normally has to find these erm ... er the additional resources to cover tha that [...] income erm I have had long discussions with John on this and th the point that he was putting there was er demonstrating that [...] income had followed the amount of work perhaps has not fallen and the below the line item is a recognition in the part of that argument i in a sense for [...] fifty-fifty between below the line reaching seven thousand erm and we've identified savings and other heads for example the staff advertising example where reduction in turnover, there's no effective service [...] saving there, so these such things can go towards meeting this [...] income [...] conditions.
[258] So this some sort of deal perhaps [...] there which we think is a reasonable an and fair balance in the end of the committee.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [259] [...] on this, but isn't the below the outline item coming out in somebody else's pocket? [...] central
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [260] It comes out ... yes yes.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [261] Thank you.
(PS3RB) [262] I'm hopeful that we can put this matter to bed though, cos a lot of big issues appear
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [263] Yes
(PS3RB) [264] the clock is ticking over.
[265] Can we ... very good.
[266] [...] that one uses today has a connotation of [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [267] One has to be so careful.
[268] Thank you.
[269] Good.
[270] May we move on therefore to this very important work programme which I think a very substantial matter [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [271] Thank you Chairman erm this is, this is er er obviously er a very important item, but I think that most of the information that it contains would already be familiar to members ... erm and bearing in mind that I, I've only a moment or two ago gave a very long answer to Mr 's question when I, I could simply have said yes.
[272] Erm I
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [273] [laugh] Well [laugh] I, I, I think that Jim and I cou could discuss the state of which [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [274] has been taken into account or not and we,w we would probably end up giving you a different answer but erm I mean w we ... I don't want to go back to that I, I'll leave that, I'll leave that, I'll
(PS3RB) [275] These are important questions, should we charge for lifting cows out of ditches I've seen.
[276] You know.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [277] Erm th there are one or two things that perhaps I can say that might help ... in relation to er to this particular report erm and you'll see that er there are references in here to the workload of the erm minerals er erm team and the, the planning application for the coming year.
[278] I, I won't get drawn into that again ... but in draft eleven point one there is reference to the fact that a copy of the report that went to the Policy Coordination sub-committee er was er a attached and in fact er it isn't attached.
[279] That missing report has been put round the table this morning and I hope that members of the committee would have found it and would be able to add it to that [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [280] I apologise for that omission erm it's er erm one of those things that er er does I'm afraid from time to time happen.
[281] Erm ... the er ... most important item I think Chairman is the work programme for the future year which commences at erm about twelve and forms the second half of the report and I would be very happy to deal with any questions and it is very clearly in the light of things that we've already said, the first part of er that latter half of the report er which er emphasises the erm principal activities er to the department er that of strategic [...] policy in paragraphs thirteen one, thirteen two and thirteen three are therefore perhaps the areas to which I would er draw you attention er most, but the report as whole is er I hope a reasonably succinct summary of what has gone on or what is proposed to be done and er ... in order to avoid simply what is already in the report, I, I would leave it at that point and say I'm happy to deal with any questions.
(PS3RB) [282] And nobody seems to be itching to speak on this report.
[283] Not a ... an eyebrow raised.
[284] Er ... do we approve it then?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [285] Approved.
(PS3RB) [286] Well that's splendid.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [287] Thank you very much and thank you for a very well [...] .
[288] ... Right, the complaints procedures.
[289] ... Chris are you happy?
Chris (PS3RD) [290] No, I'm [...]
(PS3RB) [291] I've lost er ... this is er a brief report of three complaints.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [292] Item [...]
(PS3RB) [293] Yes.
[294] ... Do we ... do we er leave that for the [...] ?
[295] Yes.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [296] [...] without wishing to [clears throat] sound er [...]
(PS3RB) [297] Neil?
(PS3RB) [298] I would agree with that, but I would just like to pick up three two of [...] there have been one or two instances [...] felt that they have necessarily ... make aware perhaps that something's coming up in er [...] difficult, but I just wanted to mention that er ... I don't know what the procedures are actually, but I mean it d didn't seem to be one or two cases [...] not saying it necessarily the department's fault, I'm er just making the point.
(PS3RB) [299] You want to speak [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [300] Erm Chairman, I'm, I can certainly confirm that it is our policy to er notify with a copy of the report the erm er member in whose area an application erm is.
[301] Erm the only example that I can think of where that went wrong was where there was a delay in the post ... but er we certainly do endeavour, it was er it was something which we've introduced in the last erm eighteen months and it's been welcomed by members and er it is certainly our intention to give everyone as much notice as possible.
(PS3RB) [302] It is very important to have the local member present to say his thing, because it does inform and influence outcomes.
[303] Er we had a very good example of that in application sub the other day with [...] ... where I'm sure ... it was very helpful to have that input ... and there is considerable respect paid for the patch view in planning in my experience and I think that's very healthy.
[304] I can only hope that when the system has changed, that the man in Guildford will listen to the patch.
[305] I'm serious about that, it grieves me greatly the possibility that he may not hear what the patch has to say.
[306] ... Well
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [307] [...] Mr is, is, is asking the questions which ... which [...] for a long time.
(PS3RB) [giggle]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [308] Just to add to what's been said erm ... there, there have been some points raised er along the lines I've mentioned and as a result of that erm it is felt that erm notification to members who are not on the application sub-committee of applications which affect their ward area could be improved and that is er I hope to be the subject of a report to the next meeting of the Application Sub-Committee, so that er matter i is something which is, which is being picked up and will be considered by that sub-committee ... but it does give me the opportunity to say that erm the definition of a complaint i is certainly not a precise one ... and I certainly wouldn't want members of this committee to feel that I was being complacent er as a result of there only being three complaints that we received.
[309] Erm certainly there are other er comments and statements that have been through the year which er should and has caused us to look at our procedures and to erm make changes where that is appropriate and I would hope that er we would continue to do so.
[310] There is also er as, as well as recognizing that there are some things that perhaps we might have er concluded, but because of the er nature of the definition have fallen outside inclusion of this report.
[311] There is reference in paragraph two point two to the local ombudsman and I, I, I should perhaps add that during the year in question, there is one current matter er which er with the subject of the referral to the local ombudsman and that of course has not been included because of definition reasons in this report.
[312] That particular single matter was not pursued by the ombudsman an and that therefore means that erm it isn't something that er he felt was a question of maladministration ... but I did want just to emphasise that this particular point, because in the more er ... i in the recent report to the Policy Resources Committee on ombudsman complaints, the number, and I can't recall exactly what the number was, but the number included in that report relating to planning matters was certainly higher than one, I think there were about half a dozen and what I wanted to take the opportunity of explaining was the, the majority of those all but the one that I've now referred to, er where in fact relating to district matter planning applications and not to the County Council.
[313] So if there's any er er erm thought that the er ombudsman complaints were running at a high level as far as this committee's interest were concerned, I can confirm that that isn't in fact the case.
(PS3RB) [314] Yes.
[315] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [316] Can I just congratulate er the County Planning Officer on operating in an oasis o of, of [...] if I can put it that way.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [317] Erm good one [clears throat] thank you [...] report to the Highways Committee [laughing] [...] complaints [] I think he's er perhaps remarkably lucky in [...] operating this way and er i it's er a great credit to the department in terms of
(PS3RB) [318] The [...] is interesting [...] because of course planning is an eggshells area where you have to tiptoe delicately through the tulips.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [319] Well, you've heard what the members say and er let us hope that you continue in this ... very sensitive area and handle these er matters with er care and sensitivity.
[320] Can we move on [...] can we move on to er general item A.
[321] I thought that, and I'm not an expert in [...] but I thought this was a penetrating critique and all goes well for how the department is handling in a very difficult starting situation, a most important matter ... but there is ... Mr spoke to me about this paper and er I think we will have to hear what Mr had to say, I don't know who's going to report that.
[322] ... Yes?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [323] Mr has not spoken to me about this
(PS3RB) [324] I it's oh it's a nice noise, I beg your pardon.
[325] Not this one.
[326] Sorry, next one.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [327] [laughing] I'm ... I'm rather relieved at that because otherwise I would []
(PS3RB) [328] Sorry I got the wrong item, I, my note is not very good.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [329] Sorry Chairman.
(PS3RB) [330] Erm, first of all Alan .
[331] Yes.
Alan (PS3RE) [332] Yeah, thank you Chairman just [...] new development on the question of transport that's been considered that people might be using the train more [...] travelling to Europe than they had done previously [...] I dunno if that has been considered [...] Channel Tunnel, but perhaps it's something that erm ... [...] .
(PS3RB) [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [333] Er thank you Mr Chairman.
[334] I, I erm ... would like to reiterate what you said about the quality of this report which I think Patrick had a finger in, I suspect.
(PS3RB) [335] No, no, no, no no
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [336] You're not [...]
(PS3RB) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [337] Well in that case I'm ... er it's still a compliment still intended whoever wrote it.
(PS3RB) [338] Well it's John , I did ask who was behind
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [339] I do beg your pardon
(PS3RB) [340] it and it's his team.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [341] Right erm ... I would just like to mention that it doesn't say here that the A P C have set up er a separate er lobby group erm on which I have the honour to be a member with Patrick er to try and influence the MPs because one of the things which er is coming out and it's ... it's actually shown in paragraph three point three A at the bottom, the questioning whether the demand should be necessarily met ... or whether in fact, and this links to the government's present erm reluctance to direct airlines to work from ... current unused capacity for example at, at erm at Luton ... and I think that there may well be some pressure put that er we should try and change that.
[342] Thi this is something which has come out in several places I don't know whether the members noted it, erm ... the er it also touches on, on, on what my colleague said earlier and the item in paragraph V er the assumption of the demand [...] remain much as it is, heavily [...] towards the South East particularly Gatwick.
[343] We, we, I think er in the discussions we've had there is a, there is a movement towards questioning some of the premises.
[344] That's really what I was saying.
(PS3RB) [345] Good.
[346] Neil .
(PS3RB) [347] [...] get on, but it's a very important matter this [...] .
[348] Er I [...] what's been said about the report and I think it identifies the main issues.
[349] I would just like to emphasise particularly the erm ... [...] I'm very pleased [...] consultants working on it, because I think this is the Achilles heel in the ... in the Gatwick case.
[350] I think that is of very considerable importance.
[351] The other thing which is actually mentioned that we [...] one of the worst aspects [...] was done [...] and I personally tried to look at what the impact on road building around [...] elsewhere and it is absolutely appalling and er I think that is something which is to be, I'm sure it will be, will be called out.
[352] I think it is an area where [...] and I think it needs to be [...] will be doing that.
[353] ... And the final thing on three two er the question of how far [...] I know this has not been asked today ... I don't [...] people with er [...] three or four page ... briefing [...] get the summary [...] I do think that the sort of [...] and there's a great deal of voluntary activity going on and I think if we can support that, that would, be that would be great.
[354] So I have one final point erm [...] I won't go into that, but I just hope that our membership to the Airport Policy Consortium [...] Gatwick.
[355] The danger when you are in a group which is representing a number of airports [...] [too far away to be able to hear talker]
(PS3RB) [356] Can we just hear what Harold wanted, to do you wish to speak?
Harold (PS3RC) [357] No
(PS3RB) [358] Oh.
[359] [...] you wanted to.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [360] Well I do want to come back in fact an and reassure er you that er in fact er we are very concerned about that and we spend a great deal of time talking about the A P C's erm statement policy of intent because it was intended to be modified in the way which we thought would [...] and we spent quite a lot of time erm discussing and am re-amending the importance [...] .
(PS3RB) [361] David ?
Harold (PS3RC) [362] [...] erm and bearing in mind Mr 's comments about er [...] could he have thought we translated into rather more layman's language and say well the capacity of the roads do actually deliver and extract people from Gatwick [...] mathematical modelling is pretty suspect stuff [...] but erm but at least it would er if that is true if [...] it is not capable of actually er sensibly erm er allowing arrivals and departures er onto our road network without causing I think all they're doing is pushing the problem onto us er and we ought to [...]
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [363] [...] major new road building [...]
Harold (PS3RC) [364] Well quite
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [365] put the roads on the map [...]
Harold (PS3RC) [366] Well okay, but you've gotta say that the present network is not capable of either delivering or extracting [...] er
(PS3RB) [367] Ken ?
Chris (PS3RD) [368] Erm these erm ... [...] transport to the South East [...] transport surely the ... the following item on [...] increase [...] ... which is forecast, this will encourage erm ... [...] to use [...] and increase the traffic [...] in Gatwick erm [...] airports that's er [...]
(PS3RB) [369] Good point.
Chris (PS3RD) [370] Surely the er two are linked.
(PS3RB) [371] Good point.
[372] ... Right.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [373] Chairman.
(PS3RB) [374] Sorry?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [375] Er it was just to enquire i i if we're getting this input from [...]
(PS3RB) [376] Ah
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [377] the members er [...]
(PS3RB) [378] yes, I th the, the answer about the Redhill monster is that erm
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3RB) [379] Redhill didn't submit to a [...] it's er it's beyond, it's outside of the [...] they, they, they made er er a conscious decision that they would deal with it in their own peculiar way.
[380] So it's nothing to do with [...] by their own choice so I understand.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [381] It should be something this committee erm tends to [...]
(PS3RB) [382] Oh yes and er the ... I pass all the correspondence I have to the County Planning Officer who deals with it with the most ... enormous efficiency and I hope that he is maintaining liaison with what I call the Rucatse Group which consists of , Neil and Tony and ... [sigh] somebody from Crawley who is ... I think it's
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [383] Tony
(PS3RB) [384] Tony , but there is an accepted group of members who are taking a very close and efficient interest in what is happening at this er ...
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [385] Can I pass all my correspondence on to members of
(PS3RB) [386] I would be grateful if you would, yes.
[387] Keep them er well informed.
[388] This is ... I think there is an administrative question how we handle this and it seems to be running very well.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [389] Might the ... Mr Chairman I was just wondering if it's worth just mentioning that the, since the Redhill Airport proposal which does include a privately funded motorway link erm [...] point erm has gone to and has been called in to the determination I believe by the Minister, but er we are sort of pending ... er holding our horses until that er er is nearer the time is that not perhaps
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [390] We, we are er Chairman involved in ... Redhill proposals in so far as we have submitted erm ... a series of er ... points to the local authorities concerned and tomorrow er as it happens is the date for the pre-enquiry meeting, the enquiry is due to be held er in I think late spring May er time, I'm not sure of the exact date
(PS3RB) [391] Twen twenty third of March
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [392] Twenty third of March?
[393] As soon as that, beg your pardon.
[394] Erm but the pre-enquiry meeting is taking place tomorrow and we are represented at that meeting John [...] is going along.
[395] At the present time it isn't the intention that your officers should present er evidence in person at that enquiry, er our er representations haven't er put in, in writing, but that is pending what happens at tomorrow's meeting an and that position might change.
[396] Erm I, I er ... much of the compliment that you paid t to me and the department in terms of the efficiency that we've, which we're dealing with the correspondence, I, I am conscious of the fact that in something of this nature those er members that you mentioned, some of them are, are here this morning erm are, are not er s receiving er a regular erm series of er erm letters or, or pieces of information from the department and it's very much an ad hoc situation erm and at the moment as far as [...] is concerned, we are waiting for the ... the completion of some of the reporting before we erm er submerge them with er a, a, a, a lot of paper, but if there are any particular issues that erm any of those members or indeed any other members erm particularly wants to pursue, er th th the position is as it is on, on any matter, please do get in touch.
[397] We will try to keep our [...] er flow of paper outwards, but if we er are failing or if there are any questions as to well why haven't we heard anything from w for a while, please do get in touch.
[398] ... Er I think there was only one question that was raised during the er course of the discussion Chairman which erm Mike [...] assured and Mr raised the point about the Channel Tunnel, the effect that that might have of er erm passenger [...] Gatwick.
[399] Erm that in fact er whether it's been on board accurately by the [...] report er or not is, is a matter for er question, but it was something that they bore in mind when they where reaching their conclusion, so they believe that they have taken it into account.
(PS3RB) [400] So are members happy that this is in safe hands and er proceeding satisfactorily?
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [401] Yes.
(PS3RB) [402] Now we come on to an immediate question, night flights which er there is concern about.
[403] I don't know whether Mr 's concern to be satisfactorily dealt with by officers.
Unknown speaker (J41PSUNK) [404] I, I, I think so Chairman, I, I, I think Mr Buck's basic point er relates to the position of the Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee er which this committee appoints two members to Mr and erm Mr ... Erm Mr