Friday, 24 June 2011

Clive Hart's Shadow Update



Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of the Opposition at TDC.

"This was the first TDC Cabinet Meeting held using the new Conservative 'themed' portfolio areas.

Thursday's meeting was a relatively short affair, mainly dealing legal matters, data protection and TDC properties.
Item 6, a report on a Homes and Communities bid was withdrawn and the press and public were excluded for item 10, regarding the Coach House, Northdown Park.
As always, Labour Shadow Cabinet members were in attendance and the following matters were raised by them".
Cllr Clive Hart - 01843 298770.

Cllr Clive Hart - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Prosperity' portfolio.
"Thank you to Simon Thomas for this report.
The very first paragraph (1.1) sums up the situation correctly 'Until 1st October 2010 planning permission was required for change of use of a building including a dwelling house to an HMO. On 1st October 2010 the government introduced new legislation. Now planning permission is NOT required for the change of use of a dwelling house to an HMO for up to 6 people'.
This goes directly against the work and wishes of several departments of this council who are constantly frustrated by such changes.
At the December 2010 meeting of Thanet District Council, the previous - and then larger - Conservative administration were forced to delay implementing regulations controlling Houses of Multiple Occupation for a whole year, due to changes introduced by the coalition government.

Indeed, at that very meeting, I pointed out that the TDC administration had been forced to respond to yet another retrograde and knee-jerk change in legislation brought in by the coalition government. In October 2010 they had rushed through changes that actually made it easier to create HMO's, without thinking things through and consequently seaside authorities such as Thanet now had to play all kinds of legal games to cover themselves. I explained that the second rate option forced on us, left us with an unnecessary 12 month loophole for developers to exploit.
In summary, in October 2010, through its rushed and ill thought out policy, the coalition government forced us at TDC to delay implementing regulations controlling Houses of Multiple Occupation. At full council in December 2010 we were therefore forced to agree a second rate option providing developers with a twelve month loophole. Now, we learn from the report before us that the Article 4 Direction was not made until February 2011 and that Cabinet are being asked to 'confirm' it here today.
Can I please ask on exactly what date the Article 4 Direction WILL finally come into force"?
Answer - February 4th 2012.
[Ed. This is really worrying! No requirement for conversion to HMO!]

Cllr Iris Johnston - Shadow Spokesperson for 'People' portfolio.
"Thank you Mr Cordes for this comprehensive report and for addressing the Final Audit Report Statement from August 2010 which provided TDC with a 'limited assurance with regards compliance to the requirements of the DPA 1998 generally'. I feel it's very important that not just staff but all members have training to ensure none of us breach the act even inadvertently. We also need to know when we have to register constituency work with the Information Commissioner as highlighted on page 24.

I recently had a matter drawn to my attention of an MP using email addresses gleaned through constituency work to promote his political party in the run up to the May elections. The three residents were furious and we as Councillors should know that we should not do this either.

I have written to Mr Cameron and the Speaker of the House and discussed this with Mr Patterson. I have had no response from either the MP himself or the House of Commons. I find such use unacceptable. How would one report such breaches"?

Cllr Iris Johnston - 01843 299207.

Cllr Clive Hart - Shadow Spokesperson for 'Prosperity' portfolio.
"Thank you to Mark Seed for this report.
At first sight, using the building concerned for stone masonry would seem to be a very good solution.
However, the cemetery is a place of quiet and I would like to ask what environmental controls regarding noise and dust issues would be put in place to protect this 'very special' local environment"?
Answer - It was hoped the building would be used for an office for the stone mason.


1 comment:

  1. Seems then that like Red Ed the Labour Group are completely scripted before they stand up to speak! Remind me of Thunderbirds puppets!