These Council staff seem not to understand their position within the organisation and it demonstrates very weak management by our elected representatives.Perhaps we are now seeing a new feature in Local Government that of growing bureaucracy control and the usurping of the democratic process. This seems particularly prevalent in Norfolk. It is of great concern to us all.
Unfortunately the High Court in the recent Judgment seemed determined to strip away any criticism of the informal "SEA" done in 2004 for the NCC Transport Initiative(i.e. NDR), plus any criticism of the "SEA" incorporated into the GNDP Sustainability Appraisal done in 2009 for the GNDP JCS. Neither of these documents is a proper SEA - see, by contrast, one done for Notthingham Council and no doubt there are other good examples around the country.http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/greaternottinghamsea-environmentalreport.pdf But the Judge seemed keen to focus ONLY on the failure to assess the alternatives properly, rather than any massive failure in the entire "SEA". As he pointed out himself, focusing only on the failure to assess alternatives properly restricted the remit of his judgment to the North East development plan affecting SNUB, and did not compromise the whole JCS. He dismissed SNUB's attempt to criticise the entire "SEA" in para 53:"Mr Harwood’s Skeleton Argument for the Claimant contained a number of what seemed to me to be rather carping criticisms of the SEA and JCS, but he refined and improved his submissions in oral argument. He focussed wisely on theappraisal of alternatives to the NEGT, the Claimant’s area of interest."If SNUB had succeeded in showing that the entire SEA was a hopelessly inadequate document - and an illegal one what's more - that would have rocked the foundations of the entire national planning world, the development industry, and the government's hopes for Growth by building thousands of tacky houses. Mr Justice Ouseley was definitely not up for this - very few judges would be, unless they were in the Supreme Court and even then they might think twice. Nevertheless, the requirement to do SEA's properly remains a formidable weapon. An SEA also requires continual updating and monitoring - so the GNDP should now be held to this. For instance the 2009 and 2004 "SEA"s are now out of date. Pathetic as they are, they must be updated at once in accordance with the 2004 SEA Regulations. We have problems of our own over in West Norfolk, where no SEA has been done for the Energy from Waste proposal, although an SEA is mandatory for all waste projects - and I don't have time to pester NCC any more than I already have on this. But someone will, that's for sure, because this SEA thing is not going to go away. Too many environmental lawyers have now got wind of it - and too many council staff and councillors working in more crowded areas of Britain are becoming as desperate as the public, to STOP THE BUILDING and grow food with what little water is left.
It's plainly obvious that some council officers will sell out the public who's rates fund these overpai jobs.They are also quite content to ruin this region and the countryside as long as they can remain on the "Gravy Train".When the Council eventually comes to it's senses that we will not return to the "Good Old Days" of pre 2009 then they will shed themselves of these leeches.