I thought that with Cameron taking an axe to all that protects South Somerset I would do a blog on planning again.
Percentage of Major Planning Applications Decided in 13 Weeks (2011)
A constant accusations made by tories is that South Somerset’s Lib Dems are useless at running the council and love to spend your tax money recklessly. They also accuse us of the “politics of jealousy” and say we’re lovers of “red tape” (especially EU tape) and always getting in the way of “wealth creators”. All this is clap-trap!
I happened to be doing some comparisons the other day using the “sparse” database, which lets me compare performance in my Portfolio with the performance of other, similar councils. I thought the above chart was very interesting. It compares our planner’s performance with all Districts, with councils in the Sparse group, with a group of 50 rural councils, with a small “family” of very similar councils and with the other Somerset Districts. Of course, in the most recent local government elections, the Lib Dems took a pasting and nearly all of the comparisons here are with TORY-run councils!
We even beat (Tory-run) East Devon.
If you check elsewhere in the Sparse database (publicly available, as are most local government figures), you’ll also find that we cost the South Somerset taxpayer less than the tory councils for this better performance.
Finally, if you were a fly on the wall at one of our regular meetings with local small builders and agents, you’d know they prefer to deal with South Somerset because they know where they stand (and we help them deal with any objections in a fair way).
So two points to remember.
(1) Lib Dems are more business-friendly than tories
(2) Lib Dems run councils better than tories.