The Planners BBC2

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Councillor Shefali Begum

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:07 pm

I think that the sensible thing would have been to look for more suitable premises with nearby parking but the impression I got when speaking to one or two of the mosque-supporters directly was that they were confident of the outcome of the application although to me, on paper, it looked like a non-starter.

But then, I look at the old Victory cinema which has been a cash & carry for several decades. There is no real parking provision suitable for a business of that size and type and double/triple parking in the roadway is not unusual. I have never seen anyone being issued with a ticket though.

Now this is a very busy and apparently successful business. Would a supermarket have been allowed to have been allowed to open up shop in this way? (Rhetorical question!)

In the many years that this business has been open, I can't imagine why they have not relocated to somewhere more suitable.... given the number of businesses like Comet closing down with parking right outside. The road layout cobbled together to accomodate this business looks as if it was designed by a five year-old. Chicanes, weirdly-placed bollards and a roundabout guaranteed to make your tyres squeal and test out your suspension and steering.

I do think that the way in which the whole Planning Committee decision taken in respect of the Mustafa Islamic Centre has been short-sighted in that, if the intention was not to rock the 'cohesive and inclusive society' boat, in actual fact the very opposite has been the case.

If the intention was to appease a particular section of society, they have done it at the expense of making even larger waves and creating widespread mistrust that did not necessarily exist before.

In the wake of all this, I have a very sensible, cost-saving suggestion. If the Planning Committee do not choose to accept such sensible advice from their own highly paid, professional Planning Officers, then why not scrap the whole damned committee saving us all those councillors allowances and other running costs?

To me, there is a strange positive in this. At last the people of Rochdale have had an opportunity to see at first hand how the council works. If you ever get a referendum on your increased Council Tax, you will know exactly how to vote. Similarly, if in the 2014 council elections, if you allow this shower to remain in power, you have only yourselves to blame.

By the way, I only live 10 miles away. Labour Council with a very solid majority. No Council Tax increase this year. No plans either to waste money on a shopping centre we don't need and although we have not got Metrolink, we have the excellent and speedy X43 'Witch Bus' which whisks us into Manchester in a luxurious fleet of buses and also connects to the Metro at Whitefield. For those of us who wish to travel at a more sedate pace, we have the equally excellent East Lancs Railway.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  past it on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:59 pm

keithatrochdale wrote:
johnb wrote:

I think you misunderstand me. All these extant places of worship have inadequate parking if current guidelines are applied.


But we are talking about today's regulations and this one, clearly, does not comply.

Do they have a 'special' exemption which allows fragrant disregard for planing permission?

If so, it should be available to all.

There is no exemption clause but elected councilllors as members of the planning committee are entitled to reject planning officer advice but have to find a reason for doing so. In this case I imagine they dispute the car spaces the officers maintain are required.
This application was granted last August but has only come to light as a result of the TV programme. Some applications after being granted have to go to the regulatory committee which again is made up of councillors. I don't think this one did.
The last resort usually from a failed applicant is to go to a government inspector. I do not think planning applications can be "called in" by one of the overview and scrutiny committees.
I suspect it is now what is often called "a done thing"
The applicants have done nothing wrong and I imagine are delighted and surprised at the outcome.

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:07 pm

Delighted definitely but not remotely surprised. Past It and that is first-hand knowledge.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Poppyanna555 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:14 pm

It was a 'done thing' alright, probably before it got anywhere near the planning meeting....
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  teamplayer2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:19 pm

Funny you say that Poppy. I use to go to some council meetings in the past and you use to get a feeling that minds had been made up sometimes long before the end of the meeting. Though this could just be our imagination and I am sure such things never happen.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:38 pm

I always think of the public meetings of the council and its various sub-committees as being no more than a shop window designed for public viewing.

The real ear-bending, wheeler-dealing, negotiation and agreements are formulated elsewhere; often in a smoke-filled room or in the 4-ale bar. Where agreement cannot be fully reached beforehand, you do the numbers in advance to ensure that you get the result you want. God forbid that you should get any surprise results on the day!

Some of our councillors really should take acting lessons if they want their 'innocent' but very well-rehearsed questions to look spontaneous. (Such as, "Have you received any complaints about car-parking in the past?")

Being a trade unionist for umpteen years taught me all about how committees really work. I never once got defeated or ambushed in a vote but that was because I did PLENTY of preparation beforehand.

Newcomers who do not know the rules or who fail to understand how it works are like lambs to the slaughter but they usually soon learn. In Parliament, the Whips take care of all that. In council, the chain of command is much shorter.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Jeanie on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:30 pm

When I was in council if an agreement or decision couldn't be made it was deferred for further discussion !
I wonder why this was not done ?
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Heywoodpp on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:51 pm

I have attended a few planning ctte meetings. The opportunity for a dialogue and discussion as opposed to a brief stating of one's case is limited. I have attended part of one full Council meeting. The opportunity of public engagement with the business was zero. The very architecture of the Council chamber with the public gallery up and beyond and largely out of sight means that if a member of the public wished to participate in a debate he/she would have to use their agenda to make a paper plane and fly it onto the desk of The Mayor to attract his attention.

Township Meetings, on the other hand, allow the public to ask question not just in the Open Forum but in the other agenda items. At least in little old Heywood successive chairs (and I have known four) have allowed the public their say on all matters. My only quibble is that, although in 6/7 years I have seen 1/2 occasions on which the press/public was excluded, in the last 1/2 years there seem to have been as many or more such occasions!

But I do think full Council is a cross between rubber-stamping and party political point-scoring.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:54 pm

Jeanie wrote:I wonder why this was not done ?

As we saw, very little that should have been done was done, and plenty that shouldn't have been done was done. It was like seeing a group of children being bullied into handing over their dinner money. Shocked

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Jeanie on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 pm

cyfrifia wrote:
Jeanie wrote:I wonder why this was not done ?

As we saw, very little that should have been done was done, and plenty that shouldn't have been done was done. It was like seeing a group of children being bullied into handing over their dinner money. Shocked

I have to agree with you also in Heywoodpp's post over the last 2-3 years more and more (pink) papers were included in all council papers excluding the press & public!!!
Untill this council start working together to rebuild Rochdale then sadly it will never happen and we all know that won't ever happen, Power has overtook common sense Sad

Funny thing is today I have had 4 phone calls requesting help for missed bins,pot holes dog fowling and neighbour nuisance I told each caller I am not your councillor they asked me "who was " and have I got a contact number???
I did sort the bins out though Wink


Last edited by Jeanie on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added comment)
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:27 am

The pile of pink papers at both council meetings and at Pennine Acute seem to have grown over the past year despite RMBC telling us that the presumption was that all business should be conducted openly unless there were sound reasons for not doing so such as land and building acquisition or tenders etc where commercial confidentiality could be compromised etc.

In truth, I don't know if this is adhered to or if an illiberal view of what should be not be discussed in the public eye is taken.

I once attended a meeting where the press and public were excluded after the first agenda item.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:45 pm

I see that the Facebook site has been locked. Looks tike trouble at't mill. Pity really as it seemed to be really galvanising public opinion.

The only thing I'll say is that as ever, when matters are discussed in which racial or cultural issues rear their heads, it can quickly lose focus and become a series of racist rants.

In this case, the focus should be on the Planning Committee with speculation as to their motivations kept out of it otherwise, you just draw the fire of those whose interest is in deflecting criticism away from the real issue. Badly chaired, debate stifled and therfore non-democratic. End of in my book.

Works in the interest of nobody apart from the cabal on the committee. Certainly not in the interest of the townspeople as a whole.

Solution? That committee needs a new Chair. Shafali is not experienced enough and her hectoring, 'in your face' style stifles debate and gets right up everyone's nose.

'Lessons to be Learned': in true Rochdale mantra style? NEVER appoint someone to Chair a committee until and unless they've proved themselves by putting in at least a couple of years serving on committees. Shefali might well have the skills a year or two down the line but not yet. In the meantime, a little humility might not go amiss. There were people on that committee who have served for years but were spoken to in a way that I wouldn't address my cat... not even if it had shat on the carpet.

Demeaning fellow councillors whilst on camera and in front of the public serves only one interest, to make the whole process appear shambolic and guarantee, yet again, that Rochdale gets a bad press.

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  ajsmith on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:54 pm

I think that sums up the situation nicely Hinch, thoughtful, fair and balanced.

Anthony

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:08 pm

Cheers. I hope that the Facebook page gets unlocked again.

I know these things can get heated at times and it can take precious little to cause some to hurl out accusations of 'racism' but it is really important to stick to the main issue.

We may think we know what caused Councillor Y or Z to vote in a certain way but unless you have proof positive, best to keep these thoughts to oneself and stick to the main issue.

Childish, unprofessional behaviour and bizarre decision-making have been going on in Parliament and on the Council for years and are by no means wholly restricted to applications being submitted by Muslims. It is the chairing of that committee that is the root of this particular problem.

(BTW, I was accused of racism on here for referring to Elwyn Watkins as a 'Welsh Windbag' and also for homophobia for opposing gay marriage in churches. Takes all sorts.)

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Spartacus on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:58 pm

ajsmith wrote:I think that sums up the situation nicely Hinch, thoughtful, fair and balanced.

Anthony

I second that, Anthony.

There were people on that committee who have served for years but were spoken to in a way that I wouldn't address my cat... not even if it had shat on the carpet.

Laughing You really should write a book, Hinch.

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:23 pm

The matter is in hand Poppyanna.
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Poppyanna555 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:36 pm

I think that was Sparky's comment Hinch......but I second that emotion! Razz
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:52 pm

It's going to be a Western Poppy. The town of Dead End Gulch is all washed up. The goldmine has run out and the railroad has arrived too late to save the place. Various tribes of Indians have moved in and are looking for trouble.

The Town Mayor doesn't know what to do and is losing his mind muttering, ”Lessons will be learned. "

Just then, he hits on an idea. ”"If I can't run this pesky town, I'll git someone who can.”

A few days later, a mean-looking stranger on a white horse rides in smoking a cheroot. ”They call me Preacher and I'm here to kick ass." he says.

What do you think Poppy?
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  ajsmith on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:14 pm

I'd like to pre-order a signed first edition please.

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Heywoodpp on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:59 pm

Can I be the Preacher, Hinch?
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Jeanie on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:18 pm

Heywoodpp wrote:Can I be the Preacher, Hinch?

Might be a conflict of interest there Heywoodpp and you wouldn't want the council regulatory committee on your case Wink
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  ajsmith on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:33 pm

Hang on. Didn't realise you were dishing out cameo's. Can I have a part please? Obviously I will need a slice of the royalties when it's made into a blackbuster...

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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  johnb on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:05 pm

Richard Farnell as preacher???

Come on!!!!!
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  Poppyanna555 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Wow, you must keep writing......on it's way to winning the Booker Prize already I'd say! rabbit
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Re: The Planners BBC2

Post  johnb on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:14 pm

Pulitzer mor like...
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