The Full Council meeting of October 20th, 2016, had an item on the Southend Central Area Action Plan (SCAAP).
Ian Gilbert, Labour Group Leader & Councillor for Victoria Ward commented: "There were, in our view, sufficient unanswered questions in relation to this document to merit going back and having another look at it. It would seem sensible to wait for the outcome of the parking and tourism review before passing this critically important planning policy. Although the Tories and UKIP hide behind the fact that it will be subject to statutory consultation, the fact is they have voted to make this document the official policy of the council, and they must take responsibility for that."
Minute 329 (SCAAP) from the agenda for the meeting included this:
"On consideration of the report the Corporate Director for Place confirmed that, outside of the SCAAP process, it was the intention to develop a parking strategy and a tourism strategy for submission to a future meeting of the Cabinet".
This was of sufficient concern for the Labour Group that they unanimously voted against accepting the SCAAP. Labour believes that an incomplete SCAAP cannot be presented to the public or the Government inspectors. How can the public be expected to comment on a document with such large holes in it?
Deputy Leader of the Labour Group & Councillor for MIlton Ward, Julian Ware-Lane, said: "This borough has historically had a number of part implemented plans - I hope the SCAAP does not follow this unfortunate trend. Since parking and tourism are huge issues for the town centre, how can we be asked to endorse this without detail in the interim?"
The vote on sending the SCAAP back to Cabinet was defeated with all of the Conservative and UKIP groups voting to support the document as it is.
The promised consultation process is undefined at the moment.