Changes To Key Worker Definition Confuses Councillors

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Council chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Another Council decision has been delayed. This time, it’s because the recommendation being made was different from the wording that members had discussed before the meeting.

The proposal to amend the terminology used by the Council to assess Key Worker and Specific Local Needs status was brought to Tuesday’s Planning Meeting by Planning Officer Lisa Walton.

She said the current wording made it difficult to assess cases objectively and consistently.

In particular, she wanted the section that talks about people being “inadequately housed” to be replaced with “unsuitably housed.”

That would allow people to move more freely in the housing market and also to downsize and free up properties that are unsuitable for their needs, said Lisa.

Councillors agreed.

Chairman Amanda Martin said they’d struggled with recent applications because of the tight wording. She felt they needed more flexibility to meet the needs of the local population.

But Cllr Ted Moulson felt it still left too much open to interpretation. He said it was like moving from “fog to poor visibility.”

Then Cllr Christine Savill pointed out that the proposal put forward by Cllr Martin was actually to delete the full definitions for both Key Workers and Local Needs, not just switch the words.

Christine warned that if they accepted the proposal, “we won’t have any criteria” and “it will be an open field.”

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden said the recommendation was actually to keep the full definitions in place but added, “it would have been more helpful to have set this out in the report.”

Committee Chairman Gaz O’Neill admitted that the proposal was different to that discussed by councillors before the meeting.

Cllr Martin agreed, saying her proposal was “based on our understanding of our conservation.”

She then withdrew it.

Instead, Cllr Richard McCarthy proposed allowing the new Local Plan Working Group to make recommendations.

Changes to that group at the same meeting mean those discussions will take place away from the public.

3 Responses to Changes To Key Worker Definition Confuses Councillors

  1. High Lanes Drifter May 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    The Devil’s in the detail. Lucky someone spotted Cllr Martin’s ‘mistake’

    • O W Kenobi May 23, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Keep your light sabres close at hand for there is method in her ……………………..

      • FLASH 'G' May 24, 2015 at 10:03 am

        I thought ‘ Be careful High Lanes ‘ for suggesting that Emperor Ming made a mistake. It could end in tears!