High Peak Borough Council’s ‘Standards Committee’ met on 11th March 2009. This committee sets standards of behaviour for Councillors, the procedures which committees are obliged to follow and monitors their compliance with both.

Under Item 4 of the Agenda (link opens PDF), the Committee was asked to endorse a report by the Interim Monitoring Officer proposing a number of revisions to the Protocol for the conduct of the Development Control Committee. 

The proposed changes need looking at carefully to see how they might affect objectors to planning applications. However, we have some time to consider these proposals since, to our great surprise, the committee refused to adopt the revised protocol as it stood. The minutes of the meeting can be found here (link opens PDF).

As you can see [minute 09/28] one of the matters that they wanted reviewed was the 3 minute time limit for speakers at the Development Control Committee. They wanted to consider an extension to 5 minutes. Somehow or other the universal dissatisfaction of the public with the present three minute limit had filtered through to them. Miracles will never cease!

This presents us with an opportunity. A bit of lobbying will ensure that the committee supports an extension of speaking time to 5 minutes at its next meeting. This doesn’t require much effort from anyone who is interested.

What to do? Send an email to,

· your Councillor, copied to:
· the Chief Executive of High Peak [email – simonb@highpeak.gov.uk] and
· possibly members of the Standards Committee

If you notify us that you have done this [keephighpeakgreen@gmail.com] we will be able to assess roughly how much pressure we have brought to bear.

Your email might run along the following lines,

The Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting of 11 March 2009 record that it is calling for a review of the present 3 minute limit on speakers at Development Control Committee meetings with a view to increasing it to 5 minutes [Minute 09/28].

I strongly support this revision which I feel is long overdue. Please would you notify the the Standards Committee of my opinion on this matter. If you felt you could add your own support for this change to mine, I would be very grateful.

[ Name and address]

Try to formulate the email as far as possible in your own words.

A list of all the Councillors and their email addresses can be found at this link.

The members of the Standards Committee are:

Councillors –  T Bingham, Gadd, T Norton, G Platts, Thrane, J Wilkinson,

and –  Mr D Abbot, Mrs G Brooke, Mr P Matthews [Chairman].

The last three names on the list are not Councillors and their email addresses are not available on the Council website.