Should debate on report criticising council’s planning department be held behind closed doors?

JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 17-08-12 S12330140X Horsham, Horsham District Council, office building, HDC -photo by Steve Cobb
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A report criticising the council’s planning department will be debated behind closed doors on Monday November 11.

Horsham District Council’s Scrutiny and Overview Committee will discuss the contents of the report, but the press and public will be exempt due to confidential information in the document.

The ‘Review of Development Management and Planning Services’ listed poor morale, an ineffective management structure, lack of resources, inadequate staff cover, and poor use of technology as some of the problems plaguing the department.

Brian O’Connell (Con, Henfield), chairman of the Business Improvement Working Group, which has been leading the review, recommended that a new ‘director of service’ be appointed to completely restructure the planning department.

Other suggestions included strategic planning being brought under the new director of planning services, separating environmental health, and starting a new training and mentoring programme.

What do you think of the report being debated in private? Comment below or email ct.letters@jpress.co.uk