Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bridgwater Forward says “it’s time Sedgemoor Tories declared an interest!”

It's astonishing that councillors who've supported community campaigns to save the Splash and prevent the sale of the Brewery Field are pressurised into 'declaring an interest'.

This surely confuses “taking an interest”, with declaring a “financial interest” : a strategy mainly aimed at preventing councillors from making decisions which will benefit them financially. It also attempts to stifle councillors who don't toe the Council line on any matter of public interest.

However,  isn’t there an ethical problem over any councillor who voted to sell the Northgate site to Tesco, also sitting on the Planning Committee which will decide whether or not Tesco is to be allowed to build its mammoth superstore on the Northgate site and Brewery Fields?

Sedgemoor District Council will receive £8 million for the sale of the Northgate site to Tesco. How then can members of the Planning Committee make an objective decision about the application to build a Tesco Extra there?

The solution is clear: the whole Tesco application must be referred to a public inquiry, with disinterested parties charged with making the decision.


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