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Clear Distinction between Core Strategy and Planning Application

November 30, 2009 by  

Dear Councillor Mason
 
To confirm our discussion and my advice to you which John Honey as Monitoring Officer has affirmed, there is a clear distinction between Council Members’ participation in the Core Strategy deliberations and the consideration of a subsequent planning application.  The key issue for the purposes of the code of conduct is that you keep an open mind in respect of the planning application and do not made public statements on those proposals, in advance of the formal consideration, that gives the appearance that you have already made up your mind on that matter. In the circumstances I do not consider you would be precluded from participating in the determination of the planning application .
 
Kind Regards
 
Albert Bugeja

Head of Legal Services
Rochford District Council
and Deputy Monitoring Officer

The Council is required by law to appoint one of its employees as its monitoring officer. Rochford’s Monitoring Officer is:

John Honey, Corporate Director (Internal Services)

The Monitoring Officer has a statutory role, with a number of specific functions including issues relating to ethical standards. Rochford’s Monitoring Officer works closely with the Chair of the Standards Committee.

The Monitoring Officer acts an adviser to the Standards Committee, which involves:

•Making sure that the Standards Committee understands its powers and procedures;
•Making sure that the procedure for dealing with complaints is fair and efficient;
•Making sure that the councillor who is the subject of a complaint understands the procedures the Standards Committee will follow;
•Providing advice to Standards Committee about law and procedures when complaints are being dealt with.

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