Lead by example

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REFERRING to the Freedom of Information requests which have revealed that 48 of our council staff are on double the average wage, perhaps a further Freedom of Information request should be submitted to find out precisely how much the planning office has spent on compensation/legal costs due to flawed planning procedures.

To date I can recall at least three recent instances where the planners have cost us dearly in legal fees - the Jerwood Gallery fiasco cost the council a five figure sum when a local resident submitted a judicial review case against the council, the flawed Robsack Meadow planning application cost £2,300 in barrister’s fees and now we have the Hawthorn Road group being awarded more than £2,000 by the Local Government Ombusdsman due to flawed planning procedures.

The article stated that Jeremy Birch defended the council’s high average wage saying ‘you get what you pay for - when you are trying to recruit a skilled planning officer you have to pay what other authorities will or you will not attract people to Hastings’.

Why should the residents of Hastings subsidise the inefficiency in this department?

PATRICIA STEPHENSON

Whittlewood Close

St Leonards