Local plan group

Cutting a bus route group

How to run an event group

Cutting social care group

[See also all the tweets and photos of diagrams on #NotWestminster]

Local plan group


  • All comes down to secretary of state nominated person
  • Language used that shuts people out
  • Openness and upsettingness
  • Solutions might involve restructuring over several tiers

More detailed notes from this group

What is a local plan?

  • 20 year plan for local development
  • have to show 5 year land supply for the number of houses the govt thinks you should build
  • the govt starts with a figure of number of homes that you need to provide — and you have to show why you can’t make it (e.g. green belt)
  • very costly process, takes average of 2 years — or longer and cancelled (e.g. Northumberland 9 years and then cancelled :0 )
  • then the Draft Local Plan goes to a single govt inspector who makes a decision (after a public hearing!)
  • people are hugely involved throughout the plan, then decision made by unelected person at the end of it!
  • Then there’s Neighbourhood Plans which are voted on by the people (and it’s got to fit the local plan)
  • e.g. the Birmingham Local Plan was scuppered by Sajid David cos was going to eat into the green belt in his constituency
  • ‘To hit the central govt target we’ve had to basically put a house on every conceivable site — which is a hard sell to the locals!’
  • You get urban/rural split, political splits

What’s the process

  • The law sets out the process
  • Central govt sets a housing figure
  • Start with an ‘Issues and Options’ doc — couple of ideas of strategy,
  • e.g. low development (can’t really choose this anymore) or high development,
  • e.g. increase density or brownfield land…
  • Public consultation
  • Imagine a folder with lots of chapters — you complete all the chapters and you get the draft plan (Housing Assesment, Strategic Land Assement, SHMA, SHAH TLA TLA TLA etc — 
  • e.g. Have you got enough land?
  • E.g. Have you got developers on board?
  • Everyone’s ideally had a say…
  • Full council vote
  • ‘Test of soundness’ by someone nobody knows. “The Government Inspector”. Yikes.

What would a reformed system look like?

  • Why don’t we have bigger area plans? Cos actually some places do want to go over and above the housing target number.
  • Let’s not draw a timeline. Let’s start with a circle! #MindBlown
  • Go more hyperlocal
  • Communication and language needs to be better


  • Watch ‘The NewBuilds Are Coming’ recent BBC programme
  • Other countries do infrastructure first, then housing. In the UK we’ve got it the wrong way around. Because it’s developer/market-led.
  • There are limits to democracy. [Noooo… Ed.]
  • Croydonisation is not a bad thing. It’s 28 minutes from central London!
  • Weird stuff like the council can consult, decide not to include X in the local plan, but X can reappear (without the infrastructure) due to private actors. Which is a pretty bad deal. Plans get rejected by the people, but development is going to go ahead — but without the plan it’s going to be much worse.

Cutting a bus route group

[Round up]

  • Public consultation for reviewing the bus service, done once a year
  • What happens if a bus company goes bust?

How to run an event group

  • Did this as a pretend user
  • Found some scary forms in Word docs online, guidelines
  • Made an application to the council
  • By law the concil had to publish application in local press
  • Friends of X Park would get involved
  • But most people don’t see an application
  • Subcommittee hearing to look at complaints
  • Agreed a few new conditions with the police etc
  • If ignored some conditions, what happens?

Cutting social care group

  • There’s a visible process — look at the website, go to meetings
  • There’s an informal process — what happens with local gov officers
  • Third tier — what happens with councillors / members

Closing a library

Round up notes

  • Most people aren’t aware that this is happening, even tho it concerns them
  • Some of the visible stuff is token
  • The decision-maker is an officer, not elected. They gather evidence how they like — but that’s invisible.
  • Then scrutiny from councillors (and can be rejected at that point)
  • Couple of opportunities for members of public to seek out information, but largely wouldn’t know to in the first place

More detailed notes here:


Running a circus on the local park