Council planning meetings go digital

Hounslow council has held its first virtual planning meeting.

Chiswick Cricket Club can put up some tall netting to stop cricket balls sailing over into neighbouring gardens. Cllr Ranjit Gill can have the small rear extension to his house, but the biggest beneficiary is arguably democracy itself.

As a member of the public, it’s so much easier to watch the proceedings in the comfort of your home than schlepping down to Hounslow House. Public participation might soar. Then again, it is a Planning meeting we’re talking about.

There were five councillors taking part in addition to the chairman, instead of the usual fifteen. Cllr John Todd represented Chiswick.

“The whole thing went so smoothly one suspects they rehearsed”, says Marie Rabouhans, Chairman of the West Chiswick & Gunnersbury Residents Association, who keeps a beady eye on Planning matters.

Her only concern is that the next one, in the diary for 4 June, might concern a major development in Chiswick, and she might like to speak at it.

“It’s not the same if you’re not in the room” she says.

But then again she has a whole three weeks to design and arrange the background against which she will perform. Just get the flying ducks in shot.

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