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‘Secretive’ council is lambasted over LDF
10:14am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Local news
A senior councillor has blasted a ‘secretive’ local authority she claims is breaking the ‘spirit’ of open Government by only making comments on a district-wide consultation available in Bradford.
Bradford Council received about 1,200 comments from people across the district after a consultation about the controversial Local Development Framework (LDF), which sets out a vision for housing and development until 2028.
The LDF, now being called the Local Plan by the council, has caused some concern in many areas, partic-ularly in Wharfe-dale, with more than 40,000 new homes proposed to be built during a 15-year period.
But Coun Anne Hawkesworth, above, who represents the Ilkley ward, says she feels people’s responses to the LDF consultation should be made far more widely available and not just restricted to those who can get to City Hall in Bradford.
She said: “It is not adequate to tell groups, such as the design group and the civic society in Ilkley, that they can see them online if they go into planning reception.
“There they will have to hope a computer is free to work on. This is hardly within the spirit of open government, and once more calls Bradford into question as a secretive council.”
A senior council officer confirmed this was the only way people could view the comments.
Andrew Marshall, planning and transport strategy manager, said: "The Council received about 1200 comments during the consultation. They have all been logged including any on paper which were scanned in digitally and people can view them electronically at our Planning reception currently located in City Hall's reception."
The consultation on the plan's Core Strategy ended earlier this year, attracting responses from across the district.
The next draft of the development plan document is expected to be released in November, although a final decision and central Government backing for the plan is expected in the first half of next year.
For more information on the LDF, go to bradford.gov.uk/ldf