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PLANNING PLONKERS


Pedro
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So our Council Planning Department has become the first in the country to illegally destroy all planning documents prior to 1996 - without any microfiche/digital back up - the Ombudsman has issued a damning report but apparently the person who took the decision has retired - early on full pension perhaps !!

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So our Council Planning Department has become the first in the country to illegally destroy all planning documents prior to 1996 - without any microfiche/digital back up - the Ombudsman has issued a damning report but apparently the person who took the decision has retired - early on full pension perhaps !!
Surely if it's "illegal", his/her retirement or otherwise has no baring whatsoever? Or, if I kill someone and then retire, it is ok now?
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Apparently local authorities have had a responsibility to retain all planning records in perpetuity since 1947 so Warrington BC has lost everything for a period of 50 years and has been ordered by the Ombudsman (a lady actually) to pay 5 grand each to the two residents who have been affected by the absence of relevant records - surely there are going to be many others in the future.

As regards the Council having done something illegal and my earlier reference to the planning officer responsible being now retired, isn't early retirement from local/central government a common opt out after some major error has come to light ? Not on a par with 'murder' or even imprisonable, just egg on the face of a council for something which has never happened anywhere else - even made the national news yesterday and maybe I missed it on WWW.

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Wonder if the records of the approval of the Tesco store/Wolves Stadium survive? They might not stand up to close scrutiny.

 

you can't say that on here egbert........ you'll have the wolves luvvies foaming at the mouth!

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For a given value of true that is :wink:

 

See that councillor O'Neil has objected to the claim that it was under the labour controlled council that the deed was done. Strange that at one time he had a lot to do with the planning committee. 8)8)

 

(checks through window blinds to see if there are any black four by fours with heavily tinted windows. Nope just a van delivering Flowers By Irene printed on it and a funny looking air vent on top) :shock::?

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Ian Marks' & Keith Bland's comments merely demonstrate how desperate they have become. The planning documents have been destroyed whilst they too have been in power.

Whilst I agree the elected bodies should ensure that the council's affairs are being efficiently run it appears that the destruction of the documents was done illegally by the planning dept.

 

Obviously the officer who authorised it is the main culprit but others in that dept would have known what was going on and should have been aware that it was illegal and reported the matter to the council.

 

The fact that they ignored what was happening means that they have been negligent in their duties.

If they played any part in the matter they have been accessories to the act.

If they claim that they didn't know that it was illegal (which surely they should) then they are not competent enough to be employed by the council.

I think a really thorough investigation should be made in the planning department. The taxpayer shouldn't be expected to pay for incompetence, perhaps heads should roll?

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I can't see how the 'main suspect' could possibly have done the deed completely independently. Also whether he or any others involved have since retired is irrelevant. There should be a full investigation and the people involved should be named and dealt with. If any are still working in the dept their employment should be terminated.

How the hell can any acceptable standard of efficiency ever be achieved if gross misconduct like this is overlooked?

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  • 1 month later...

Is it right that after the ombudsman's finding and all the pre election hype and calls for a full police/external investigation into the the destruction of all the planning records etc etc .....

 

..... that the council are now doing the investigation themselves assisted by their own solicitor their own cross-party audit and governance committee and their own internal auditor who they say are all completely independent :?

 

How can they all be totally independant though :?

 

They also say that "no stone will be left unturned to discover what went wrong and what lessons can be learnt" which is good but surely the lesson has already been leart now and I doubt any more planning records will ever be destroyed so what do they hope to achieve out of this investigation and how much is it costing them to investigate themselves?

 

Just wondered what everyone else thinks as I personally find it all a bit odd but then again I find most things 'odd' .

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I suppose it would be a bit daft to get the police involved as no doubt it would take a lot of many hours to fully investigate (unless of course the council already know what happened, which they seem too to some degree) and after all the police are there to catch criminals and keep our streets safe.

 

I'm not saying the councils auditors and others shouldn't be involved in the investigation but I do disagree with them being the only ones

 

Maybe this Pickle chap should be brought in too then as an independant 'whatever' along with some others too... maybe the ombudsman woman :wink:

 

I have some time to spare too if they would like an unbiased opinion and some fresh eyes :D

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