Meetings to stay after objections

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Opposition councillors have won their challenge against plans to change the time of planning meetings at Northumberland County Council.

The local authority wanted to move the central planning and rights of way committee from an evening slot to early morning.

Conservative councillor for Cramlington North, Wayne Daley, had said the change would have prevented residents attending and having their say on applications.

And the council has responded to the criticism by stating that following issues raised, the meetings would remain in the evenings.

Coun Daley said: “I was horrified that the administration thinks having the most crucial, public focused committee meet in the morning is a good idea.

“Our last meeting attracted over 70 people, many of whom had travelled on their way home from work to voice their opinion on a wind farm application.”

Labour’s Coun Scott Dickinson, of Druridge Bay ward and business chairman of the council, said: “The idea of a daytime slot for this meeting was modelled on the workings of other councils and was put in for members to debate.

“For a number of reasons it was agreed by the working group that it wasn’t appropriate and it will therefore remain in its evening slot.”