Agenda item

Any other Business that the Chairman considers urgent


Capital Bids

The Chair referred to the annual Capital Bids process and reported that Officers were busy bidding on all of the items considered essential for the Department of the Built Environment. He added that he would be happy to provide further information to those who were interested in this outside of the meeting. The Committee were assured that he and the Deputy Chair had also had the benefit of considering what the current priorities were.


The Old Bailey

The Chair reported that he and other Committee Chairmen had been discussing the situation concerning the Old Bailey and recent protests with relevant Officers and assessing the City Corporation’s various powers in relation to these and what response might be



Tulip Inquiry

The Chair reported that some members of this Committee had lodged their own objections and would be appearing at the Inquiry itself. He underlined that it was, of course, their right to do so but commented that the former Deputy Chairman Sheriff Hayward would be appearing as a City of London witness to back up this Committee’s decision. He went on to refer to some of the allegations made by members within their submission suggesting that the Committee never refused planning permissions for major developments however many planning policies they infringed and commenting on a predictable pattern of decision making reflecting the supposed conflicting nature of the Committee as a body which primarily promotes private, commercial interests whilst also exercising Local Authority functions. In response to this, the Chair wished to place on record the fact that he entirely refuted this, believed that the allegations made were a total mischaracterisation, and was very proud of the decision-making process here where decisions were made openly and transparently and often had the vast majority of Members behind them, as was the case with The Tulip. Finally, the Chair stated that he found it surprising on a personal level that Members who were part of a corporate body (i.e. the City Corporation and this Committee) would seek to undermine a decision of that body through a public process. He would like to think that there was enough cohesion as a Committee that, when decisions were taken, they were supported and not undermined by dissenters.


A Member who was one of the signatories to the objection commented that she had never taken such action previously but had done so on this occasion as she felt very strongly aggrieved by the decision taken and felt that this was the only option open to her. She considered the Chair’s take on the matter to be a “telling off”. The Chair commented that this had certainly not been his intention in raising the matter.


Another Member, who was also a signatory, commented that the submission made was public and that she would be happy to share the contents of it with the Committee. She added that every Member of this Committee was able to attend a planning inquiry and speak their minds. The call for statements either for or against was issued to all Members and members of the public. The Chair agreed that all Members were entitled to do this but reiterated that he did, nevertheless, take umbrage at some of the language used within the representation and that he personally would not choose to act in this way.