Planning Inspectorate

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Why is this idea important?

The activities of the Planning Inspectorate need curtailing.  If a planning application is turned down, an appeal can be launched by the aggrieved party.   However, the Inspectorate appoints someone who knows nothing about the area and his/her opinion takes precedence of that of the local planning authority.  Even though the Inspectorate employs someone to do quality control of its decisions, it appears not to carry out any quality control.  I know of a case when the Inspectorate was asked to review a decision it had made, the quality control man sid they could not do this because they had thrown away the papers!

Data Protection

Revise the roll of the Information Commissioner to make the Commissionn concentrate on important data protection aspects and to give it powers to prosecute the big organisations, such as HM Customs & Excise, which dish out our confidential information with impunity.

At the other end of the scale,  the Commission makes a ridiculous charge on all organisations to fund it. The small Parish Council for which I work is charged £35 per annum by the Commission.  There are two pints here: 

1 The Commission does absolutely nothing useful for this £35.  It claims it produces 'guidance notes.  Well, I don't want guidance notes at a cost of £35 pa thank you.

2 There must be an enormous number of organisations which have to pay a compulsory fee.  There are 10000 Parish Councils in England and Wales, so the Commission must be employing an army of money collectors and bean counters.

Why is this idea important?

Revise the roll of the Information Commissioner to make the Commissionn concentrate on important data protection aspects and to give it powers to prosecute the big organisations, such as HM Customs & Excise, which dish out our confidential information with impunity.

At the other end of the scale,  the Commission makes a ridiculous charge on all organisations to fund it. The small Parish Council for which I work is charged £35 per annum by the Commission.  There are two pints here: 

1 The Commission does absolutely nothing useful for this £35.  It claims it produces 'guidance notes.  Well, I don't want guidance notes at a cost of £35 pa thank you.

2 There must be an enormous number of organisations which have to pay a compulsory fee.  There are 10000 Parish Councils in England and Wales, so the Commission must be employing an army of money collectors and bean counters.

Audit Regulations 2003 and 2006

The audit regulations are a ridiculous and expensive burden on small Parish Councils and should be scrapped, being replaced by something sensible and reasonable.   Indeed, the 2003 regulations were so badly written that the (still flawed) 2006 amendments had to be produced.  The audit costs for the small Parish Council for which I work cost £6.20 on average for every single cheque written.  This is because the Audit Commission insists on a double audit of the accounts – one by the Parish Council's own auditor and one by the Commission.

The dates for completion of the audit as demanded by the Audit Commission are quite unreasonable and put an unnecessary burden on a part time employee.  The Audit Commission expects its work to take top priority.

Why is this idea important?

The audit regulations are a ridiculous and expensive burden on small Parish Councils and should be scrapped, being replaced by something sensible and reasonable.   Indeed, the 2003 regulations were so badly written that the (still flawed) 2006 amendments had to be produced.  The audit costs for the small Parish Council for which I work cost £6.20 on average for every single cheque written.  This is because the Audit Commission insists on a double audit of the accounts – one by the Parish Council's own auditor and one by the Commission.

The dates for completion of the audit as demanded by the Audit Commission are quite unreasonable and put an unnecessary burden on a part time employee.  The Audit Commission expects its work to take top priority.