Gilliat asks for public's assistance

PUBLISHED: 11:38 03 February 2006 | UPDATED: 21:40 28 May 2010

Avis Gilliat

Avis Gilliat

ANGRY Labour councillors have called for the public to oppose plans to switch Fenland Council planning meetings to 2.30pm. Councillor Avis Gilliat, the Labour member for Waterlees, Wisbech, blamed Tory councillors for agreeing the change of time before co

ANGRY Labour councillors have called for the public to oppose plans to switch Fenland Council planning meetings to 2.30pm.Councillor Avis Gilliat, the Labour member for Waterlees, Wisbech, blamed Tory councillors for agreeing the change of time before consulting the public.She made an unsuccessful attempt to get the decision halted last week at an overview and scrutiny meeting. Her only support came from a sole Tory, Councillor Les Sims, also a Wisbech councillor."I tried to get the committee to 'call in' the decision," she said. "This would have meant it being referred to cabinet. However, I failed."It is amazing that the decision was made by the controlling group and only then sent out for consultation," she said."And despite that consultation showing an overwhelming preference for remaining at 6.30pm, the controlling group won the day."Cllr Gilliat said othe decision would mean Labour's representative on the committee, Councillor Barry Howlett, of March, may have to stand down."It was argued that councillors find it difficult to sit late at night," she said. "But that's what you were voted to do. They signed up knowing this committee meets at night so that members of the public can attend. We should be there to serve the people."Cllr Gilliat said Labour had brought in the 6.30pm start time when it was last in power a decade ago, and there had been no complaints. I'd say to agents and to the public if they don't protest now, then this decision will stand," she said. It's the wrong decision but I think I've done all I can to stop it."A council spokesman said the change of time was a political decision and therefore it would be inappropriate for the authority to comment.

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