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Broards Authority Alleged Document.


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I have permission from the original poster who added this to facebook.

I can't guarantee the content.

Please, discuss within the terms of service but don't indulge in name calling or it will get locked or hidden, that will not help anyone.

 

 

 

A copy of a document which has been circulated to all BA Members has come into my possession anonymously and I think it is in the public interest to publish this, see below.

Moorings at Haddiscoe New Cut

Dear everyone

I’m sure you will all have read the reports in the EDP covering the above - though it’s a shame that most of you have still not seen the evidential review itself, which was sent to the Chairman over 7 weeks ago.

This is obviously a disappointing and damaging report, which could easily have been avoided if the Authority had followed due process and engaged members in the proper manner - and demonstrates the critical importance of the board being allowed to perform their statutory duty of holding officers to account.

Here is a summary of the relevant facts, all of which have been fully substantiated. More details can be found in the ‘documents’ section of the planning portal (application ref BA/2020/0045/COND).

1. In 2002, the Broads Authority tried to lease existing moorings at Haddiscoe New Cut to provide 24 hour visitor moorings, but were unable to agree terms with the landowner, who preferred to continue operating them as private moorings.

2. Between 2004 & 2007, works carried out by the Environment Agency to form a new set-back flood bank caused damage to the piling and adjacent road which eventually (by 2015) rendered the moorings unsafe to use.

3. In 2019, the Environment Agency agreed to replace the piling.

In approving the Environment Agency’s planning application under

1. delegated authority, officers unexpectedly added a last-minute condition preventing use of the piling for mooring boats. This condition was added without consulting the navigation committee (making the consultation unlawful under the Broads Act 1988 s9), the landowner or any councillor, and was made on the wholly false premises a) that the moorings were unauthorised and b) that there had been “regular and vigorous complaints” about moored boats in that location.

2. The imposition of this condition rendered the land – which was previously coveted by the Authority for moorings - essentially worthless.

3. The landowner therefore applied for the planning condition to be removed on the basis that it was unnecessary and unreasonable.

4. Since it would not be reasonable to expect officers to “mark their own homework”, I called in the application to be considered by planning committee (in my capacity as both ward member and a member of the Authority), citing a clear conflict with planning policy as a material planning consideration.

5. 4 other members of the planning committee, and the County Councillor for the Division, also called in the application, citing various material planning considerations including loss of moorings contrary to policy and lack of evidence for imposing the condition in the first place.

6. All 6 call-in requests were refused by officers, without justification, contrary to the approved Scheme of Delegation and contrary to the Local Government Act 1972 s101 which explicitly states that a scheme of delegation shall not prevent a decision-making committee from exercising its functions.

7. Not only was this action unlawful, but it was contrary to the most basic principles of proper governance and accountability.

8. When I requested details of the “regular and vigorous complaints” which had been used to justify the condition just 8 months previously, officers claimed that the evidence had been disposed of.

9. An email from the Authority’s Navigation Officer was then provided, which was said to provide evidence of the complaints - but most of the content was redacted as it was said to be irrelevant.

10. The redacted content, when finally revealed, was not only highly relevant, but showed that the Officer had no navigational concerns about vessels moored in that location, and described the moorings as “long-established”.

11. That email proved beyond doubt that the original condition was imposed improperly and without any justification in planning terms.

12. Since it is almost inconceivable that an email could be redacted by mistake, the inevitable conclusion is that the redaction was intended to conceal the facts.

13. 5 members of the Authority corresponded with the Director of Planning and the Monitoring Officer expressing all of the above concerns. These concerns were rebuffed without being properly addressed, and resulted in Julie Brociek-Coulton being removed from the Authority without notice or due process (and contrary to the law) by the leader of Norwich City Council, at the request of the Authority’s executive.

14. The Leader of Norfolk County Council wrote to the Chief Executive to express concern over the handling of the application, but he refused to intervene or investigate, instead expressing full confidence in “the strength of our processes and quality of our staff”. This clear pre-determination rendered any further complaint to the Chief Executive futile.

15. Having exhausted all possible internal avenues of complaint, the members provided the leader of South Norfolk Council with a dossier of evidence to assist him in making a complaint to the police as a possible case of Misconduct in Public Office.

16. It took 14 months for the police to consider the case, and although the conclusion was that there was no evidence of criminal behaviour, the DS was clearly so outraged by the “incompetent and bloody minded” behaviour of officers that she set out those concerns in the strongest terms. The report was approved by a Detective Inspector and a Superintendent before being sent to the claimant and victim, and was not marked confidential or legally privileged.

Clearly as a board we have a duty not only to address these serious concerns, but to consider why we have been prevented from seeing the evidential review and denied the opportunity to discuss it. This feels very much like a continuation of the behaviour described above.

You will be aware that both Fran Whymark and myself made formal requests for the matter to be considered as an item of urgent business at the Broads Authority meeting last week, and yet the Chairman told the meeting that he had received no such requests.

The conclusion of the evidential review was that there were “breaches of protocol” and concerns “over the transparent and lawful management of the Broads Authority” which should be reviewed by DEFRA. The sensible and proper response would surely have been for the Authority to refer itself to DEFRA for such an investigation.

Instead, the Authority – without reference to the Board – decided to advise DEFRA of “this latest attempt by certain South Norfolk Council councillors to publicly impugn the integrity of the Broads Authority and its Officers” whilst dismissing the review as “the work of a junior officer” and threatening a formal complaint against the police.

We are also told of a review by an “independent planner” whose identity and terms of reference are a mystery, and who has had no contact with any of those involved in making the complaint. The Planning Advisory Service have confirmed that they have no involvement in this process and it is hard to see how such a “review” could be seen as either independent or credible; the continued unwillingness to engage members over the substance of the complaint gives further credence to the Police Officer’s conclusions.

Seen in the context of the Chairman’s offensive and personal attacks aimed at discrediting myself and Cllr Whymark, it is apparent that the Authority’s executive seem determined to focus on deflecting criticism and ‘shooting the messenger’ rather than addressing the fundamental concerns raised.

I therefore ask you all to consider carefully what actions the board should take to restore public confidence in our ability to govern, scrutinise and protect the public interest.

Kind regards

 

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The cancer within the BA is well past the radiotherapy stage. It's hard to see how this can conclude without a scalpel if the malignancy does not wither and die of its own accord. 

Sadly, the cancer lingers in a couple of areas and all instances of it need removing for the public good. 

 

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Taken from the Introduction of the Broads Authority Members Handbook (as found on their own website):

 

"The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 gave the Broads an equivalent status to that of a
national park
, and the Broads is a proud member of the UK family of National Parks. By
creating a Special Statutory Authority (the Broads Authority), the Government recognised that
the Broads needed the same protection as a national park but with the added responsibility
for protecting and maintaining the navigation. More details on our legislation can be found on
our website.

The Broads Authority was set up in 1989 with responsibility for the Broads and specifically for
conservation, planning, recreation and waterways. While the area administered by the
Authority is formally known as the Broads Authority Executive Area, the term ‘Broads National
Park‘ has been adopted by the Authority
to promote the Broads and increase public
awareness of its unique qualities."
 

I have seen this discussed elsewhere on the Forum, but it is certainly clear from the extract above (with my bolding) that the Broads is NOT a National Park, irrespective that the BA seems to project it as one.

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2 minutes ago, grendel said:

oh no not that old chestnut again, Can we just say that most of us agree with you and leave that discussion on the old threads where it consumed hundreds of pages of posts.

No worries - as a 'newby' I found it of interest as it was on their own site. Not wishing to stir up old arguments !

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25 minutes ago, Bikertov said:

No worries - as a 'newby' I found it of interest as it was on their own site. Not wishing to stir up old arguments !

As a newbie I would not expect you to have much knowledge of the saga of the Broads ‘National Park’. There are many threads going back almost into the dark ages, every forum has its quota! Rather sad you got the response you did I think. 

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4 minutes ago, vanessan said:

As a newbie I would not expect you to have much knowledge of the saga of the Broads ‘National Park’. There are many threads going back almost into the dark ages, every forum has its quota! Rather sad you got the response you did I think. 

It's fine - I wasn't offended by @grendel at all. A Forum Mods job is not easy, and the written word is not always read in the way it was intended, in both directions.

I have tried to look back on the Forum over the last few weeks, to acquaint myself with previous matters, but there are always nuances and also relationships between members that you can't get from reading back and not 'being there' at the time.

In trying to participate actively in threads, some of them long running, no doubt I will inadvertently tread on a few toes. Hopefully in doing so I won't cause too much offence in the process - but apologise in advance if I do !

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1 hour ago, Bikertov said:

It's fine - I wasn't offended by @grendel at all. A Forum Mods job is not easy, and the written word is not always read in the way it was intended, in both directions.

I have tried to look back on the Forum over the last few weeks, to acquaint myself with previous matters, but there are always nuances and also relationships between members that you can't get from reading back and not 'being there' at the time.

In trying to participate actively in threads, some of them long running, no doubt I will inadvertently tread on a few toes. Hopefully in doing so I won't cause too much offence in the process - but apologise in advance if I do !

Treading on toes is not a problem, no debate should create any offence if conducted respectfully, most on here have agreed with or agreed to disagree with most other members at one time or another and still treat others as members of the same community, ask away we all started somewhere along the line.

Fred 

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JP has responded to this on the NBF, I make no apologies for referring to t’other side as this is a subject that looks like there are going to be repercussions. It’s apparently no longer a storm in a teacup. Anyone who cares about the Broads and its governance and future will be following things I’m sure. I have no idea of who’s right or wrong, who’s telling the truth or porkies but, add this issue to that of the How Hill saga and it does seem that there are questions to be answered. 

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31 minutes ago, floydraser said:

As with all these things, people will be moved aside and enquiries will be delayed until the guilty have either died or cashed in their pension pots. Only then you may get the truth and possibly an apology.

More often people are PROMOTED rather than moved aside ...

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