At the latest Belper Town Council meeting held on Tuesday 8th September councillors once again objected to the development of the Thornton's chocolate factory site. This time they attacked the scheme because it comes with a 200 space car park that will be accessed by the A6 roundabout, known as Morrison's roundabout. Councillors spoke of the traffic chaos that would ensue as the road leading into the complex of stores was already at saturation point.
We have to remember that they have also objected to schemes on Derwent Street that would be accessed via the Bridge Street/Derwent Street junction even though the housing proposals would have resulted in a reduction in the flow of cars using the free car park which would be built over. One councillor proposed that Belper residents should be alerted via the newsletter so that they could mobilise and object. The fact that the AVBC planning committee have given planning the proposal and that Derbyshire County Council is in negotiations to buy the site seems to have escaped their notice.
So, Belper Town Councillors object to any development that are accessed via the only two roads feeding into the area. This effectively means that if the view of the BTC was accepted there would be no development. Is that what they are proposing? There is a distinct lack of joined up thinking with this council and it would benefit them to start to think about something positive rather than constantly objecting when they have no viable alternative plan.
The notes from our town council correspondent make for very sad reading as he complains that there seems to be a lack of proper discussion in front of the public ............. as if many items have been pre-determined. There is an increasing amount of business being done in secret with the agenda listing 8 items to be discussed with the public excluded. No doubt some items should be confidential but surely the cost of business cards or the Mayor's cadet can be discussed openly. There is also the matter of minutes and costs associated with the BTC Business Committee meeting held on August 18th that was deemed a private matter. The council should be reminded that all committee meetings should be open to the public and the minutes of such meetings should be freely available. Further .... committee meeting dates should be advertised in the same way that full council meetings are listed on the BTC website or noticeboard. Now that the BTC are 100% Tory there should be a greater emphasis on public accountability.
Once again the council discussed in secret the purchase of a piece of land. Our correspondent has no idea what this piece of land might be but could hazard a guess that it might be for allotments. If this is what it is then surely a simple public statement of intent should be made about what the council want to do with taxpayers money. This could be quite a considerable sum and if it is then it will have to come from the general reserve. Our correspondent notes (yet again) that if this is the case then such an expenditure is subject to public consultation and a raft of financial safeguards. If any capital expense is made without such a process then it is illegal.
BelperStuff is not against allotments, just wishes that the council would conduct it's business in a proper manner.