Borough plan too hot for public to see before elections

I have  had confirmation that the Borough plan consultation was pulled from the cabinet meeting on the 13th March as a result of my freedom of information request to see the pulled paper. It should have just been delayed till the cabinet on the 5th April but is too hot to put out during the election period.

The preferred option consultation would have reviled the Labour/Tory Borough plan working groups site for 7,900 homes and employment land for 12,000 extra jobs. I have not been allowed to know anything about the planned locations even though Weddington is expected to face may 1000s of the extra homes.

It is disgraceful that the location of the all proposed housing is being kept secret from the electorate by the Labour cabinet until after the county council elections. I know some borough councillors will be standing in the county council elections. Those in power need to tell us what is planned.

see request and reply

Subject:     FW: RE: Environmental information request – borough plan as of 5th March
Date:     Wed, 27 Mar 2013 19:02:33 -0000
From:     FORD Kelly <>
To:     <keith ..>
CC:     RICHARDSON Philip <>, FRANKS Alan <>, POWELL Ian <>
I am writing to you to inform you that I am unable to supply you with the information you request below.  Your request is refused under Regulation 12 (4) of the EIR which states that a public authority may refuse to disclose environmental information requested if;
(d) the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data
(e) the request involves the disclosure of internal communications.  
and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
As you are aware,  the Working Party was set up to take forward the Borough Plan and to allow free and frank discussion to take place on what is potentially a contentious issue. The outcome of the meetings of the Working Party, specifically a report on the Preferred Options for the Borough Plan is scheduled to go to Cabinet in May.  To release the earlier report, which was withdrawn from Cabinet on 5th March because extra time was needed to fully consider the implications of the inspector’s decision on Coventry’s draft Core Strategy, would cause confusion and a misunderstanding of the information presented.
If you are not happy with this response, you can complain to the Council under the Complaints Procedure.  You can also contact the Information Commissioner.  I have provided details below.
Information Commissioner
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Tel:  01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
Kelly Ford
Head of Planning Policy & Economic Development
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council
—–Original Message—–
From: Keith Kondakor [xxx]
Sent: 07 March 2013 14:33
To: FORD Kelly
Subject: Environmental information request – borough plan as of 5th March
Hi Kelly,
I am formally requesting a copy of the borough plan consultation paperwork that was initially going to be presented to the Cabinet on the 13th March 2013.
I am making this request under the Environmental information regulations as a member of the public.
This is not a request for any future version of the but a copy of the information that was prepared on or before the 5th March for presentation online and in printed agendas (i.e. before the decision was taken to withdraw the item).
I also request a copy of the agenda and minutes of the Borough Plan working party meetings between the 1st January 2012 and today.
Finally if it is not made available in the above request then I request a list of those attending and invited to each borough plan working group meeting between the above dates.
Keith Kondakor


Borough Plan pulled from cabinet meeting on 13th March

The Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough plan should be the road map to how our borough is improved over the years to 2028. Sadly it is being developed in great secrecy (apart from the leaked maps in 2012). Targets will lead to the build on most of the land between St Nicolas Park and the A5. The consultation was original due in October 2010.

The consultation details should have gone to the Cabinet meeting on the 13th March 2013. At the last moment the item was pulled. I suspect this is connected to NBBC trashing the Coventry City Plan at their inquiry.

2 faced Tories

On October 18th the Tories announced they where withdrawing from the Borough plan working group – there website states “Conservatives Refuse to continue with ‘Whipped’ Working Group”.  Sadly in private they have continues to be members of the working group but just send apologies for not attending meetings. This is the worst of all options. Sadly Des O’Brien, the Leader of Tory group keeps supporting Labours targets in planning meetings.

Previously secret Nuneaton flood risk maps obtained.

Green Party councillor and campaigner Keith Kondakor has obtained previously secret Nuneaton surface water flood risk maps using Freedom of Information regulations.

Zoom in on flood map
Zoom in on flood map

The maps show areas that may be flooded by over 30cm (one foot) of floodwater due to surface water. Areas at risk include sites of potential new housing as well as existing homes.

These maps have been produced by the Environment Agency to assist local authorities in planning development and for flood risk planning. Sadly they have not been released to the public or developers though they may be published in around a years time. Most people including councillors were unaware that these maps even existed

Flood defences, balancing ponds and sustainable drainage systems will be needed to reduce the flood risks in areas highlighted in purple on the maps but care will also be needed to reduce surface water runoff into the areas at risk.

For the Weddington fields development site a large part of the West side could be flooded by over a foot of water. I am very angry that this map was not provided to campaigners at the time of the Weddington planning inquiry. Ahead of the release of the currently secret borough plan the developers seem to be targeting the areas of highest flood risk.
It is immoral to increase surface water flood risks when the local authority has a map of which areas need special care.

I have uploaded the detailed maps for Weddington and St Nicolas ward. This can be reproduced as long as the copyright/licence information is not cut off.

Cllr Keith Kondakor

Weddington 1 in 200
Weddington 1 in 30
St Nicolas park 1 in 200
St Nicolas park 1 in 30
Nuneaton 1 in 200
Nuneaton 1 in 30

latest email – only labour & Tories matter!

This is the latest email from Cllr Aldlington. Their system shuts out small parties.


 Currently there are no vacancies on the BPWP, I have asked the Tories to
 reconsider their position (they have yet to respond).
 The recipients of your emails are not the people who can grant you a
 place on the party; you will need to speak to the respective groups
 (i.e. the current administration Labour group and the opposition
 Conservative group) who make up the working party. The Labour group
 currently fill all their allocated positions. If the Tories decide to
 stay on they also have the requisite number on the working party.
 It will be for groups to decide should they want to give up one of those
 places for you, not officers, or indeed me.
 Your email below is mis-leading. I did not say it would be allowed for
 you to join the working party, what I actually said was that if the
 Tories wanted you on then they could give up one of their positions, but
 that is their call.
 Constantly bombarding officers with demanding emails is also
 Cllr. D Aldington

Tories back plan for community option

Great news:- The Tories in Nuneaton & Bedworth are to run with my idea to develop a community driven option for our borough plan. As expected the Tories do not give me credit for the new plan but its a positive move.

Time for a fresh start on our Borough Plan Working party

Nuneaton’s first green councillor is calling for a fresh start on the Borough plan working party. The existing working party did not have the public’s confidence as it excluded the one councillor who was most interested to take part. A fresh start must begin with an open invitation to all councillors to take part. The public and other members should have access to the agenda and minutes of each meeting. As much as possible should be made public.

I hope the working party can come up with a representative range of options for the public to discuss at a consultation. If that is not possible I will work with all interested groups to come up with an alternative option or options to put forward at the same time as any single option consultation from the Labour Group.

I have formally requested a place on the working party should a place become available. I know this whole mess has been due to Labour not wanting me to attend the meetings.

What ever happens I am going to make sure the public gets a proper consultation with proper options.  If necessary, I will even run an independent consultation to present to the planning inspector.

Tories pull out of secret meetings

This weekend the Coventry Telegraph report that the Tories are pulling out of the secret Borough plan working group meetings.

Nuneaton/Coventry Telegraph story

TORY councillors in Nuneaton have resigned “under protest” from a working party set up to formulate the new Local Plan.
The three opposition members are annoyed over the way discussions to shape the future of the borough for the next 17 years are being held behind closed doors. ….
“In response to concerns from residents, we called for the working party to lift its veil of secrecy and to let the public consult on a number of options for the plan, which will decide where approximately 8,000 new homes will be built in the coming years.” …
Keith Kondakor, the only Green Party representative on the council, has been leading a campaign to open up working party meetings. He said: “Why should talks about such a vitally important document be such a secret?” …

When we had the Weddington public inquiry the Tories taking part in the Working Party made the inspector give lots of “Weight” to the housing target. Then the working party was 4 Labour and two Tories. Quite often only one Tory turned up to working party. The current working party is 6 Labour and 2 Tories. While they are inside the secret meetings the Tories are going to possibly stitch us up and blame it on being out numbered afterwards.

Things had to get worse before they could get better. We need to get the targets revised, this was not going to happen under the existing arrangement. It is possible that a deal will be done to restart the working party in a more open way. If not the opposition parties could bring forward an alternative options for the borough plan to go to the same consultation. The Tories need to be asked to work with others on an alternative option for Borough plan to put out for the consultation if Labour refuse to open up the borough plan working group meetings.

update now also in Nuneaton News

Labour will not allow an open working party

Welcome to this “open plan” website where I hope to encourage an alternative “everyone can contribute – no secrets” public borough plan.

Yesterday we had an extraordinary council meeting with a motion to:-

  • ensure our secretive borough plan working group does not rule out alternative options for our borough’s development,
  • provide minutes of their meeting to other councillors
  • allow any councillor to attend the private meetings as observers.

The Nuneaton & Bedworth Labour parties voted down this reasonable motion.

As it stands, a single “preferred” option will be recommended by the working party that will operate in its secret bunker.

I want an open, transparent democratic process that provides the public with a meaningful consultation.

see nuneaton news