Labour-run Merton Council have brought forward new proposals to increase the power of the Labour Planning Committee Chairman, which will be voted on at Annual Council on 17th May.
Labour is seeking to dissolve the committee which advises on planning policy and putting that policy making power solely in the hands of the already busiest committee, the Planning Committee, who have the power to decide what gets built in Merton.
You can read the papers here: https://democracy.merton.gov.uk/documents/s50117/Appointment%20of%20committees%20report%20annual%20council.pdf
And here: https://democracy.merton.gov.uk/documents/s50118/Appendix%20E%20-%20Development%20and%20Planning%20Applications%20Committee%20Terms%20of%20Reference.pdf
Labour wants to give the Chairman of this powerful committee the power to limit residents and councillors from having their say at public committee meetings, and the ability to block applications going to public meetings.
These changes mean that in future controversial planning applications may not be scrutinised or heard in public. The new changes have not been put forward for consultation with residents, and our council group has only been given a few days to consider the full impact of the proposals.
Merton Conservatives will oppose these changes, and we have put forward an amendment which, if passed, would ensure that there is no change from the current planning arrangements in Merton.