Thursday, 20 March 2008

Predisposed, predetermined, pre...tty complex

The Standards Board for EnglandIt's a mine field, let's face it. Not that I wasn't aware of the area of standards in public life before I stood for election, but I certainly wasn't an expert, and nothing makes things crystallize in one's mind like experiencing it for real.

So, East Street provides the basis on which I find myself beginning to understand the nuances of when, where, and how once can speak on an issue on which one feels strongly.

Especially helpful has been a paper sent out to councillors in the past couple of weeks. It's from the Standards Board for England, and is an 'occasional paper' from August 2007. It's the clearest explanation of Predisposition, Predetermination or Bias, and the Code, that I've yet read, and I'd recommend it anyone that wishes to understand the challenges that face all councillors in wishing to be forthright regarding any planning application, not just East Street.

I'd also recommend reading Alan Lovell's letter in the Farnham Herald today. He clearly articulates his challenge to councillors, and yet also demonstrates his determination to walk the fine line, and represent his residents appropriately. I also wish to do the same, and so invite anyone in Wrecclesham and Rowledge to tell me your views on the latest East Street application, bearing in mind that I have an open mind to the merits of any argument, both for and against.

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