On Saturday we had planning site visits and on Wednesday we had the actual planning meeting. I like planning as it is one of the few areas where a backbench Councillor can actually change things for the better. Planning committee is a quasi-judicial process, or in other words we should make decisions based on the facts of the case - like a judge would - rather than just blowing our political trumpets. On Wednesday, for instance, no vote split along Party lines - this is in stark contrast to Full Council meetings when every single vote goes along Party lines! We were unanimous in throwing out a roof terrace in Acton that would have caused very severe overlooking and noise issues to neighbours, which made me feel like it was an evening well spent, although I was in a minority of 2 in opposing a basement in the Bedford Park Conservation Area.
I was at City Hall on Thursday for a meeting with the Lib Dem group on the GLA and representatives of other Boroughs. It's very useful for us as a small group in Ealing to learn more about what our friends in the rest of London are doing.