Bray People - - NEWS -

A new doc­u­ment out­lin­ing how plan­ning com­plaints are to be han­dled will re­turn to the Wick­low County Coun­cil’s pro­to­col com­mit­tee af­ter mem­bers’ views dif­fered on its merit.

Fol­low­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion to mem­bers from Plan­ning Depart­ment staff, the doc­u­ment was drawn up but a num­ber of mem­bers ex­pressed con­cerns about its con­tents on Mon­day.

Cllr Ni­cola Law­less said that she would not be vot­ing for it and that the Sinn Fein party was seek­ing an in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tor to deal with such mat­ters.

‘I be­lieve that this is a mat­ter for the em­ployer and not the cham­ber. If a com­plaint goes to the CPG (Cor­po­rate Pol­icy Group), I don’t think it is re­quired to look at ev­i­dence and de­cide if it is a crim­i­nal or a civil mat­ter. It is my job as a pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive to ask the right ques­tions and this looks like we are in­ves­ti­gat­ing our­selves so I can­not stand over this. If this is passed to­day I will be seek­ing fur­ther ad­vice,’ Cllr Law­less said.

Cllr Michael O’Con­nor said that what was pro­posed is like the CPG be­ing ‘judge and jury in its own case’.

‘ This would be seen by the pub­lic as the coun­cil in­ves­ti­gat­ing it­self. It is the func­tion of the DPP to de­cide if a mat­ter is crim­i­nal or not.’

Cllr Tom For­tune de­scribed the pro­posal as be­ing ‘un­demo­cratic and a dan­ger­ous process,’ adding that ‘ the CPG wouldn’t have com­pe­tency in this area and it seems like a mis­take to be seen to be keep­ing a lid on ev­ery­thing and sort­ing it out our­selves.’

Sim­i­larly Cllr Irene Win­ters said that a ‘com­mon sense ap­proach’ is needed but that un­less any al­le­ga­tion can be sub­stan­ti­ated, it should not be made within the cham­ber but also that they should not be ‘ buried in le­gal­is­tic noth­ing­ness’.

Cllr John Snell said that he ‘did not want to send out a mes­sage that Wick­low County Coun­cil is dif­fer­ent’ in terms of pro­ce­dures from other au­thor­i­ties but said that it is time that un­founded al­le­ga­tions from ‘a few mouth­pieces’.

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