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Council Business took up my whole day yesterday. I started off with a meeting with the Borough Commander at Colindale Police Station. This was followed by the annual Child’s Hill Ward walk with officers.
This is an opportunity to show the Chief Executive, for it is he, who, leads a group of front line officers, the sites sounds and pleasures of Childs Hill.
You have to be pretty fit. We walked from Golders Green down to Cricklewood and back. The Chief Executive will strenuously deny that the street cleaners have advance notice of the visit but I and my ward colleagues did notice that the roads looked really clean.
Last year on the day of the ward walkabout residents told us they noticed rubbish being cleared away and were told it was because the Mayor was visiting.
Anyway the Chief Executive and his team do take the visit seriously and I enjoy making them walk from one end of the Ward to the other.
Later to the Town Hall, first a briefing about the new social networking site for Councillors. It is hoped to have this up and running in the New Year. Residents will be able to interact on line with their local Councillor, as well as being able to see what we get up to, on Council business.
The Town Hall was full. Many residents were attending the Cabinet meeting. But I headed down the corridor to the Council Chamber for a meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee. The public gallery was full and for a second successive evening it was great to see young children taking an interest.
They were there to support an application for a children’s play ground in Brookside Walk NW4. It was a pretty red faced Council that had submitted the application. They had actually installed the equipment and it was up and running in the summer. Then an eagle eyed resident, who objected to the scheme, noticed there was no planning permission. So he took the Council to Court. The Judge ordered the Council to close the playground. The Council not only admitted in court that they did not apply for planning permission but also they could not say who actually took the decision to install the play equipment in the first place.
The objectors put up strong resistance but to cheers from the public gallery the Committee unanimously gave retrospective approval.
The Committee then went on to consider a planning application in Holden Road. A strange one this; Finchley and Golders Green Planning Sub Committee had turned down the plans, but it appeared the Chairman of that committee did not like the decision so referred it to the main planning committee. From what I could observe a majority of the members took a dim view of this referral and were all for supporting the sub committee. So it was a bit of a surprise that when it came to a show of hands a majority voted to overturn the sub committees’ decision. Whether it had any thing to do with a billet-doux being hastily passed around I could not possibly say.
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