The webcast for the full council meeting of 15 September is now available from the Bristol City Council website here.
Using the index you can go to section 4.c Questions from the public where you will find the following:
PQ3 Mr T Griffin -> Cllr Dr J Rogers re. Ashton Gate Development (00:34:23 – 00:38:54)
The final comment from Councillor Simon “Sweaty” Cook (at 00:38:00) is in response to questioning about the future of publicly owned land at Ashton Gate:
“It is not the practice of this local authority, or any local authority that I am aware of, to hold public consultations around land disposals”
A strong statement to make. It implies that consulting the public on whether to sell council owned land or not would be an unprecedented step, not just in Bristol but for any local authority across the country.
If you are going to make a statement like that you need to be sure of your facts.
So it’s a bit unfortunate that the statement is untrue. Bristol City Council would not be setting a precedent for local authorities nationwide by consulting on the future of the public land at Ashton Gate … It wouldn’t even be setting a precedent for itself!
Because the council is right now in the middle of a public consultation regarding the future of council owned land at the Chocolate Factory in Greenbank (Blogger passim) – Greenbank Chocolate Factory – lease / access right of plot 2
You have until the 25 September to express your opinion about the future of plot 2 by completing an online survey, which will also tell you about an earlier consultation:
Earlier consultation on this issue
The council has already held a consultation on the sale/lease of the plots in December 2008. The results of that consultation are available here.
So it would appear that our local authority is regularly involved in the practice of holding “public consultations around land disposals”.
So we are left to ponder … Does “Sweaty” not have a full grasp of council activities regarding its land disposals?
But as Jon Rogers so helpfully pointed out on this very blog:
My Executive Portfolio covers planning. Simon Cook’s Executive Portfolio covers capital projects. Land sales come under “capital projects” and not “planning”.
So the consultation on the land disposal at the Chocolate Factory is in Cook’s executive portfolio. Perhaps leading us to the conclusion that he had simply “forgotten” about it?
In which case we can conclude that he is incompetent. Or did he simply lie hoping that nobody would notice?