Saturday 2 August 2014 10.26am
Not sure if you've seen this article in the guardian which highlights Redbridge Councils apparent inability to meaningfully consult with the community re: planning. They have decided apparently to vest all planning power in the hands of their officers as they are widely 'educated'. :)
The Guardian, Local Planning
Elected members should never give up their role as decision takers. Training of elected members is widely avallable, and it is the responsibility of the professional planning staff to make sure that members are properly trained and confident in taking what are often very difficult decisions. Local knowledge is an important aspect of the decision taking process. Whilst it is true that officers have delegated authority for taking decisions on 95% of applications nationally, the decision on key, strategic or controversial developments should be taken by elected members.