THE people of Bromsgrove are currently not well-served by the Labour members of the district council.

The planning committee comprises 13 elected members – nine Conservative, three Labour and one Independent – but the Labour group refuses to take part in meetings of this important committee.

Decisions made by the committee can affect people’s lives and well-being and the granting of planning consent on a parcel of land can turn a landowner into a millionaire overnight.

Currently, these decisions are effectively being made by the controlling political party without any contrary views or considerations being made. This deprives the community of balanced and impartial decision making.

The reason for the non-participation of the three councillors apparently arises from their belief that certain developers are exercising undue influence over elected members during site visits or at preliminary meetings.

There is nothing wrong with supervised contact with developers or householders providing no pre-determination of a planning application takes place prior to the actual planning committee meeting. By their withdrawal from the committee, Labour are depriving the people of Bromsgrove true democracy and failing those who voted for them.

If the Labour councillors will not fill the committee places to which they are entitled, they should resign and give someone else the opportunity to represent their electors and serve the district.

Stephen Peters, Wythall