Observer: Inappropriate language from Cllr Redman

Our independent Saturday columnist takes a dim view of Wealden councillor, Brian Redman.

 

Cllr Dr Brian Redman, the Conservative councillor for Mayfield, on Wealden District Council, should be ashamed for the manner in which he spoke during a planning committee meeting (north).

Members were discussing whether to give retrospective planning permission to a car park at Little Horsted for people to use when visiting the new green park, (known as a SANGS), which is under construction.

It is linked to the development of 1,000 homes at Ridgewood Farm and is designed to encourage people to use this land, rather than the Ashdown Forest, to walk their dogs.

The construction is being funded by the district council but eventually it will get the money back from the developers.

  • Q: Who built the car park in the wrong place?
  • A: Wealden District Council.

On that basis, it would be reasonable to assume that the planning committee would treat the matter with a proper degree of seriousness.

Taken aback

I watched the discussion on the Wealden website and was taken aback at what I regard as a rather “jokey” approach, with at one point an officer remarking he was the “comedy relief”.

However, it was when Cllr Redman spoke that my eyebrows raised and mouth dropped open.

Frankly, he set off on the wrong foot when requesting to ask a “silly question”.

Inappropriate language

His speech contained words which are totally inappropriate and have no place in the council chamber, with reference to “hell” and use of the word “bloody”, each on more than one occasion.

Here’s a tase of what he said – the council was not capable of measuring a “bloody road” and asking “what the hell are we up to”.

Cllr Dr Redman should know better. He is a former chairman of the council, been prominent in public life and held a high-powered job in business.

Out of place

The chairman of the committee should have pulled him up short for such language, but she did not.

Many will use such words in private but they are utterly out of place in a council meeting. 

Wealden District Council built the car park in the wrong place.

This was a time for “sackcloth and ashes”; the planning committee should have reprimanded the council for the mistake.

Rigour

As I have said before on this matter, such applications from a council, if it is the planning authority, should be dealt with independently.

In this case, it is fair to say, that building the car park in the wrong place was no bad thing.

But, the principle is that these things should be treated properly and with decorum. This wasn’t.

• A recording of the discussion about the retrospective planning application to move the car park can be found on the Wealden website here.

See also:

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