Councillor slams constitution proposal

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A councillor has hit out at proposal to prevent councillors from asking public speakers questions at South Kesteven District Council meetings where planning applications are considered.

Coun Martin Wilkins (Con), chairman of the development management committee, which assess planning applications, wishes to changes the council’s constitution so that members of the committee can only put questions to an applicant, an agent, a specialist advisor or a consultant.

His recommendation for the change was backed by four votes to one at the council’s constitution committee meeting on Monday and will be considered for approval at its full council meeting on Thursday.

Coun Helen Powell (Ind), believes restricting councillors from questioning public speakers, who speak in favour or against a planning application, prevents them from being able to fully understand their point.

Coun Powell said the proposal “undermines the democratic process”, adding: “Restricting councillors to questioning those individuals is unfair as they have an agenda to get the application passed.”

She is also urging the public to attend next week’s full council meeting to speak against the proposal.

Coun Wilkins declined to comment.