Is RMBC breaking planning laws? You bet they are!

Rotherham’s very own Advertiser has today reported on the results of an interesting Freedom of Information request we first reported upon, on October 9th when the request was first made. Obligingly, the ‘Tiser has posted a version of this story on-line. The full version in the print edition only, don’t forget to buy yours!

Jack and the Beanstalk poster is against the rules, oh yes it is!

Published date: 18 November 2011 | Published by: Gareth Dennison

ROTHERHAM Council has come under fire for erecting a jumb-sized panto poster without planning permission!

The council cracked down on pensioner Arthur Newey who was forced to remove an ad for his son’s carpet cleaning business which he put on the side of his Dalton home in 2009.

But angry campaigners say the authority  chose to ignore rules it enforces on others when it put up the banner plugging Jack and the Beanstalk outside Rotherham Central Library. Read on……

Additionally, Rotherham Politics is now able to bring readers the actual evidence that clearly shows the contempt the Council’s own Officers have to complying with the very laws they are professionally charged to uphold. The Council’s response is given below:

“From: FreedomofInformation
Subject: Freedom of Information response from Rotherham MBC (Ref: 463)
To: donbuxton
Cc: “FreedomofInformation”
Date: Monday, 7 November, 2011, 16:38

Dear Mr. Buxton,

I refer to your recent Freedom of Information Act enquiry dated 09 October 2011 in connection with planning permission for signage. Please see below, a response to your enquiry:

1. Please provide me with a copy of the Planning Approval Notice for all of the signage attached to the RMBC Central Library building, some of which is identified in the attached photo taken at 14.02:20 hrs on Friday 7 October 2011.

No application for advertisement consent has been submitted therefore no information is held in this respect.

2. Please provide me with a copy of the Officer Approval Report and/or the Agenda and Minutes of the RMBC Planning Board Meeting at which Planning Consent was granted for the erection of the signage attached to the RMBC building identified in the attached photo taken at 14.02:20 hrs on Friday 7 October 2011.

No application for advertisement consent has been submitted therefore no information is held in this respect.”

So there you have it! The bureaucratic language in which the replies are couched, is a delight, but the message is simple. Rotherham Council put up a poster in a prominent position in central Rotherham without the requisite permissions having ever been sought, never mind permissions being granted! It would appear for all the world, that it occurred to no one, that permission might even be needed!!! Oh dear!!!

RMBC Officers, it would appear, are above the law that we have to comply with, or else!?

New from the FOI Register – Is RMBC breaking planning laws?

See the FOI Register for the full information requested because of this Huge Poster being displayed on a council building! Without benefit of planning permission it would seem? Click on image to Read on…… Readers might be interested in the … Continue reading →

3 thoughts on “Is RMBC breaking planning laws? You bet they are!

  1. I’m pleased this issue has now been resolved in terms of “is it” or “isn’t it”…now we need to move forward to try and fully sort out this sign.

    I wonder if Mr Buxton has spoken to the relevant officer to ensure this issue doesn’t arise again?


  2. Hello Patrick,

    Thank you for your response.

    My answer, on behalf of Mr Buxton, to your Q is really easy.

    He has not, and will not, communicate with any officer from RMBC over this matter.

    The issue was submitted as an FOI, their response to me was handed to at least x6 officers to reply. I know that they tried to hoodwink the Advertiser with their response by saying that this was all very complex. No it wasn’t, and they darned well knew it wasn’t.

    I have submitted this to my MP, John Healey, Esq and my Elected Ward Councillor, Sue Ellis, both of whom I know well, and trust and respect 100%. But am I expecting there to be a behaviour change from the evasiveness and arrogance I have thus far encountered from RMBC Elected Members and Officers.

    NO I AM NOT.

    Ask yourself this, Patrick. Who is the Cabinet Member who has responsibility for the planning department = Gerald Smith.

    Who is the Officer with executive responsibility for the planning department = Karl Battersby.

    I rest my case, Sir, and having exposed the duplicitous and vindictive jobsworths within RMBC who slavishly and eagerly pursued Mr Arthur Newey with such born-again fervour, I am happy to move on and acquire further RMBC targets of opportunity.

    Active and empowered citizens are very much observing and noting the expensive activities of those in RMBC we elect to govern us on our behalf with our consent.


  3. In response to Community Champion:

    ‘now we need to move forward’ – Just who is the WE in your statement?
    Secondly, I wonder if the CC has considered what would happen if members of the public were to contact ‘the relevant officer’. Chaos would be result in no time!


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