UPDATE: Below is a copy of an email sent today 15/03/21 to Rochdale Council, in a 2nd attempt to deny them discussing behind closed doors at their upcoming Cabinet meeting. The agenda item is entitled ‘Land at Littleborough Village’.
We write as Littleborough Civic Trust to express our concern over an upcoming agenda item to be discussed at the March 30th council cabinet meeting.
The item in question is the purchase by the council of land in Littleborough. It has been deemed that the Press and General Public be excluded from this discussion.
We remind you that guidance notes given in Schedule 12 A - Local Government Act 1972 show that it would be in the public interest to disclose details of location and intended use of the land in question, as we feel that the following criteria apply as stated in
· the issue has generated public or parliamentary debate
· the issue affects a wide range of individuals or companies.
· the public interest in a local interest group having sufficient information to represent effectively local interests on an issue.
· openness and accountability for tender processes and prices.
· public interest in public bodies obtaining value for money
· promoting accountability and transparency by public authorities for decisions taken by them.
· allowing individuals to understand decisions made by public authorities affecting their lives and, in some cases, assisting individuals in challenging those decisions.
Albeit by speculation, we, [the Trust] are in possession of information of what we believe is the location of the land in question.
This is due to local businessmen and residents informing us of very recent activity by council officials.
Therefore, given that local knowledge, we are drawn to an item in the conditions given as one of the reasons when an item may not be eligible for full exclusion. namely:
· Information is not exempt information if it relates to proposed development for which the local planning authority may grant itself planning permission pursuant to Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992
As such we are of the opinion that the people of Littleborough are entitled to know how their council taxes are being spent and how it will affect their lives in this particular matter.
We have contacted Peter Gregory, Senior Property Manager, (Estates and Assets Mgt.) with our concerns, our email and his response are attached.
To conclude, may we suggest that the officer authorised to grant the exclusion should be making the decision as to whether or not the press and public be excluded from the discussion and not Mr. Gregory due to his position in the planning department.
To stem possibly incorrect rumour and speculation your prompt reply would be greatly appreciated and in the council’s interest.
Littleborough Civic Trust
Letter - sent to RMBC concerning undisclosed purchase of land in Littleborough.
Letter - sent to RMBC concerning development of Akzo site.
Decommissioning of Borehole
Letter to Planning