Neilston Community Council secretary Jim Sheriff has added his voice to those opposing East Renfrewshire Council’s decision to stop publishing planning representations online, according to a report in the Barrhead News.
The Barrhead News has previously reported that Conservative Councillor Stewart Miller had abstained from voting on a planning matter due to difficulties related to accessing the relevant planning information. East Renfrewshire Green and prospective MSP candidate Fiona Clark sent a letter in to the paper on this matter, stating that:
For towns all across the region, our Council’s handling of planning issues has long been a source of real concern. If ERC’s new procedures now mean those in Cllr Miller’s position cannot make qualified decisions, then how can any member of the public have faith in local democracy, let alone engage with the processes most directly affecting their lives?
The question of how to get people more engaged in politics is not just a Green issue (though it’s definitely something that we’re passionate about!) but one of the big political difficulties of our time. By making it more difficult for people to access relevant information on planning decisions in their area, East Renfrewshire Council are only adding to the sense of disconnection so many of us feel from the political process.