CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Kirklees Council has given an assurance to Huddersfield Civic Society that it has 'no plans to weaken or abolish any planning committees'.
The pledge by council leader Cllr Shabir Pandor was made in response to concerns expressed in a letter from society president, Bernard Ainsworth.
Cllr Pandor writes: 'Public input into decision making is an essential element of our democracy.
'Our focus as an administration is on improving engagement with local people and working with them on the issues that affect them. Localised decision making on planning issues is clearly part of that process.'
This is the text of Bernard's letter: 'On behalf of Huddersfield Civic Society we read, with some alarm, the Examiner report (July14) ‘Kirklees planning shake-up could result in less chance to fight developments’ following a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet.
'It is worrying that senior figures have voiced concerns about the balance of the democratic process in dealing with developers and developments! It appears some Cabinet members feel that public input is too high and shouldn’t take up so much time, effort and weighting!
'In 2019 the largest ever canvassing of public trust in large scale development in the UK found that trust in the planning system is almost non-existent. When it comes to planning for large scale development, just 2 per cent of the public trust developers and only 7 per cent trust local authorities.
By DAVID WYLES, Chairman, Huddersfield Civic Society
I was saddened to hear of the death of Joe Marsden who, with his brother John and families, contributed so much to the town over many years.
Joe epitomised what is termed ‘the hospitality industry’, with his warm welcome, generosity, humour and understanding of the people for whom the night club, bistro and hotels became their favourite venues.
Huddersfield Civic Society is working to support Kirklees Council develop plans for the Huddersfield Blueprint’s Station Gateway.
A new, west-side station entrance, with a pedestrian link from St George’s Square, would revitalise the railway warehouse and surrounding area. The square itself would benefit from the removal of vehicles accessing the station.
This week the Society submitted an outline for a suggested approach to Peter Steniulis in the Council’s Major Projects Service.
HCS has established a joint transport working group with Huddersfield Unlimited to help improve transport links in and around the town.
The group has identified five themes that are important to the economy and quality of life in the town, including digital connectivity. Initially the working group will focus on two areas:
The transport working group is also writing to Kirklees Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to offer assistance in further developing current ‘active travel’ initiatives (i.e. measures to encourage greater cycling and walking) and to improve communications with civil society.
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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