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It's refreshing to be a Liberal Democrat

July 15, 2016 3:15 PM
By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

Cllr Jack Cohen being interviewed by the BBCGiven the turmoil in both the Labour and Conservative parties, it feels so refreshing to be a Liberal Democrat.

Looking back now, the five years in coalition was a period of stable government.

I suspect many people are now realising how well the Liberal Democrats actually performed, especially in keeping the Conservatives in check.

The winner in the race to lead the Conservatives once described the Conservatives as the nasty party.

Well, here in Barnet the Conservatives in a nasty little act of their own removed me from the planning sub committee at the annual meeting of council.

They did not even have the courtesy to let me know they planned to do this. I wonder why they summarily removed me.

So, after 30 years on planning and having to be careful not to express an opinion before an application came to committee, I can now talk much more freely with residents.

I intend to make the most of it. Certainly, the planning system especially here in Barnet, appears stacked against local people wanting to object to a planning application.

Often residents are accused of Nimbysm, but in my experience most residents are genuinely concerned about how a particular application will impact on their amenities.

Actually, I see more Nimbysm among some councillors who vote down applications in their wards, but then moments later approve similar, if not worse, proposals, in another part of Barnet.