Friday, 13 April 2012

One week gone and only 11 weeks to go

Doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself!

I have just realised that a precious week has slipped by and I have not as yet put pen to paper on the IMF LDP.

Only 11  weeks to go yes?

Just the one then for the South Planning Committee

The South Planning Committee are off to Acharacle for a site visit and thence to the Shielbridge Hall Acharacle to determine an  application for a distillery:

Item 3.1

Applicant:  Adelphi Distillery Ltd (12/00017/FUL) (PLS-31-12 (2231kb pdf))
Location: East of Glenmore River, Glenbeg, Ardnamurchan
Nature of Development: Development of a distillery, associated maltings, warehousing and visitor centre.
Recommendation:  Grant

More here

Interesting and varied agenda for the North Planning Applications Committee

There certainly seems to be a very varied programme for the North Planning Applications Committee; items to be discussed on Tuesday 17 April include:

Location: Land at Cromarty Firth Industrial Park, Invergordon
Nature of Development: Erection of Residual Waste to Energy Combined Heat and Power Plant with Ancillary Development 
Recommendation:  Review the Council’s Position in relation to the Reasons for Refusal.

5.1   Applicant:   Caithness Power Limited  (10/03501/FUL) (PLN-030-12 (1064kb pdf))
Location: Land SE of Houstry, Upper Smerral, Latheron, Caithness
Nature of Development: Installation and Operation of 4 x 80 m Wind Turbines 
Recommendation:  Refuse.

5.4   Applicant:   The Highland Council (11/04722/FUL) (PLN-033-12 (1806kb pdf))
Location: Sconser Pier, Sconser 
Nature of Development: New Ferry Terminal Including Waiting Room and Office, Parking/Marshalling Area and Bus Lay-By  
Recommendation:  Grant.

5.5   Applicant:   Highland Council  (12/00221/FUL) (PLN-034-12 (662kb pdf))
Location: Car Park 1, Clyde Street, Invergordon
Nature of Development: Erection of Public Toilet
Recommendation:  Grant.

5.6   Applicant:   Cromarty Tennis and Sports Club (12/00503/FUL) (PLN-035-12 (337kb pdf))
Location: Victoria Park, Cromarty
Nature of Development: Formation of All-Weather Tennis Court
Recommendation:  Grant.

Other items include the installation of Artworks in Invergordon, the temporary siting of Fire station buildings in Achnasheen and  a single turbine on the Isle of Sky.

Council Elections: HC advises Postal Vote Deadlines loom

From THC press release dated today:

Voters are reminded of the deadline for both registering to vote and applying to vote by post in the forthcoming Highland Council elections on 3 May.

Applications for a postal vote must be received by 5 pm on Wednesday 18 April. The deadline for registration is midnight on the same day. 

To be able to vote in the elections, voters must be 18 or over on 3 May 2012 and must be registered to vote ie feature on the electoral roll for the Highlands. The electorate for the Council elections currently stands at 175,979.

Interesting electorate currently stands at 175,979 

Contacting the election candidates; Friday 13th update

A short but pleasant email response from Scottish Lib Dems' HQ today who have offered to 

"...circulate (my details) by email to all our candidates in the Highlands."

A few more purple highlights on the candidate list then.

Come on SNP you are lagging behind the other major parties now with respect to responding to my request for assistance!

Extra brownie points here too SLD HQ has just let me know that my request has been sent out.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Highland Council Elections 2012; progress so far on seeking views

Further to my last post I thought I would update readers with respect to my search for local election candidates views on planning matters and most especially encouraging community involvement in planning.

One of the most obvious tasks was to print out the list of candidates (list only provides the candidates home addresses) from the Highland Council web site.  You may or may not be surprised to read that there are some 170 Candidates across Highland competing for 80 positions.

Then armed with the list and a selection of coloured highlighter pens the job of attempting to contact the candidates began in earnest.  To contact candidates by post would have been prohibitively expensive so email seemed the most cost effective option.

I had already managed to email all the current Highland Councillors; I had realised  that not all were seeking re-election but I thought I would give the outgoing councillors the chance to send a brief, 'planning farewell' if they were so minded.  Bright green highlights then denoted 'existing councillors contacted' .

Then I contacted some candidates directly where I was able; names now highlighted in bright pink.

I then set about contacting the main political party offices.  

Full marks to the worker at the party office of the Scottish Conservative and Unionists for being friendly, polite and gently helpful; agreeing to forward a message to their Highland candidates and keeping me updated of the progress of my request.  This site also gets full marks for having a telephone number for me to call and a personal email supplied for me to contact with further details after my phone call.

Next came the polite efficiency of the Labour Party Office - although I did have to call directory Enquiries for a number first and there was no 'Enquiry Form' option on the web site.  However all the Scottish Lab Candidates in Highland should be getting an email from me via the main Scottish Labour party office.

Lots of bright purple highlights now against the Conservative and Labour candidates denoting candidates being contacted via party offices.

I have left messages on the SNP, Scottish Lib Dems and the Scottish Green Party web sites enquiry forms requesting assistance.  I have also sent an email to the info address on the Scottish Christian Party Site.  

I am making strenuous efforts to contact the All Scotland Pensioners Party and the Scottish Anti-cuts Coalition.  

I hope to be able to highlight the above mentioned parties candidates names in purple soon.  Fingers Crossed.

I am setting about addressing envelopes to get in touch with the independents and other candidates that I cannot find email addresses for.

I hope that this all falls into place by the weekend and all the comments can then start flooding in.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

May Elections, Candidates views on planning issues sought

I have received communications from a few individuals recently, who, given their experiences of the democratic process – in part with respect to matters related to planning - have decided to put themselves forward as candidates for election to the Highland Council.   Sadly their experiences of the planning system, as for many of us who support the aims of APT, seem not to have been positive.

How important is it, in your view, that councillors should take an active part in planning for their area?

I would be very interested to learn:

 How important you think it is for Elected Members to the  Council to encourage and support, influential, open and transparent public involvement within the planning system?

Are you (or do you know someone who is) standing as a candidate in the forthcoming local elections.   According to the campaign literature, will you / they be making planning issues  important features of a pre-election campaign?

I I would like to feature candidates views on local democracy and planning on this blog between now and the elections in May so feel free to send details and put up comments.