Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, HA9 9HD. View directions

Contact: Anne Reid, Principal Democratic Services Officer,  020 8937 1359, Email: anne.reid@brent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Declarations of personal and prejudicial interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, any relevant financial or other interest in the items on this agenda.

Minutes:

None.

2.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 November 2009 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

3.

Matters arising

Minutes:

Review of Members’ Expenses

 

Members were advised that further clarification had been received on how the register of members’ expenses was compiled.  It was noted that all travel claims were approved in advance and arrangements were permissible under the terms of the scheme.  Detailed information on individual claims will be provided in future reports.

4.

Planning Code of Practice Review pdf icon PDF 90 KB

This is the annual report from the Borough Solicitor following the Planning Code of Practice Independent Annual Review for the period June 2008 – May 2009.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The committee received the annual report from the Borough Solicitor which introduced the findings of the Planning Code of Practice Independent Annual Review for the period June 2008 to May 2009.  The review found overall compliance with the code and members noted the Borough Solicitor’s comments on the few relatively minor concerns which would be addressed either through training or tightening up of procedures and through Monitoring Officer’s Advice Notes. 

 

Members questioned whether the preliminary discussions between officers and applicants or their agents while projects were still at the developmental stage were as transparent as they should be.  The Borough Solicitor stated that officers could only give applicants an indication of whether approval was likely to be recommended and any relevant consultation that had taken place would be referred to in the planning officer’s report having regard to commercial sensitivities.  Planning policies were set out in reports and it was for members to apply them at committee taking into account views expressed.  The members agreed to include an additional recommendation confirming this committee’s expectation that every stage of the planning process should be as transparent as possible.

 

The Borough Solicitor also proposed that in the future, the review of the Planning Code be conducted every two years instead of annually given the current level of general compliance.  This could be revisited in the future if felt necessary.  This was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

(i)         that the findings of the Planning Code of Practice Independent Annual Review and the Borough Solicitor’s comments be noted;

 

(ii)        that that this committee’s expectation that every stage of planning process be conducted in a general spirit of openness and transparency, be recorded;

 

(iii)       that the changes to the Planning Code proposed by the Borough Solicitor be made under her delegated powers set out in the Constitution at Article 1 para 1.10(b);

 

(iv)       that in future, the review of the Planning Code be conducted every two years.

5.

Sub-Committee membership changes

Minutes:

None.

6.

Any Other Urgent Business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Democratic Services Manager or his representative before the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 64.

Minutes:

Borough Solicitor

 

The committee noted that this was the last meeting of the Standards Committee that would be attended by the Borough Solicitor, Terry Osborne, prior to her taking up a new appointment with the London Borough of Waltham Forest.  Members thanked her for her support and advice over the years and wished her every success in her new role.

7.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting was scheduled to take place on 24 March 2010.