Lord Hawke Way outburst by councillor at a Newark and Sherwood District Council planning committee is edited out the public recording on YouTube
A recording of a live feed of a council’s virtual planning meeting, in which an elected member called for the resignation of the chief executive, has been re-posted with the outburst edited out.
Conservative Michael Brown spoke out after the chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s planning committee, Roger Blaney, used his casting vote to push through an application that was being debated for a third time.
Mr Brown was asked to retract the comment and apologise.
District council director — governance and organisational development and monitoring officer, Karen White, said: “The video of the planning committee has been redacted to ensure that the council does not publish potentially defamatory or libellous content.”
The committee debated an application by Arkwood Developments, the development company owned by the council, for 87 homes off Lord Hawke Way, Newark.
It had twice voted against the application over parking and highways concerns.
The second time was at a virtual meeting held in March. At that time, powers had not been put in place nationally to hold virtual meetings so the committee could only make recommendations to chief executive John Robinson for the final say.
Following legal advice, he chose not to accept the March committee recommendation for Lord Hawke Way on the grounds of unreasonableness, and it was sent back to the committee last week.
It was felt the decision to refuse would result in an appeal the council would likely lose, at a significant cost to the residents.
Leader David Lloyd said the decision was taken in line with the council’s constitution and planning law, adding Mr Brown’s comments about the chief executive were unfair and unjustified.
The council also responded to questions about declarations of interest at the meeting.
Mr Blaney is a former board member of Arkwood and Mr Lloyd, who spoke at the meeting as a local ward member, is chairman of the shareholder committee, which oversees strategic relations between the council and Arkwood.
Neither declared an interest, and a council spokesman confirmed they didn’t need to.
In a statement they said: “The fact that councillor Blaney was formerly a director of the company does not mean that he has an interest now in the matter, at the time that the planning application is to be determined.
“He resigned as a director of the company in May 2019, which was some six months before the planning application was actually submitted to the council as the local planning authority.
“In accordance with the rules on prejudicial interests, councillor Lloyd did not, by virtue of being chairman of the shareholder committee have a prejudicial interest in the planning application submitted by the company that prevented him speaking on the matter as one of the local ward councillors for the area.”
- The strapline of last week’s front page inaccurately stated the chief executive voted through the application. As the story made clear, it was, in fact, the planning committee. The editor apologises for the error.