Council clash over plan for future

Provost Tom Kerr rejected the motion at a full meeting of the council
Provost Tom Kerr rejected the motion at a full meeting of the council

Community activists are worried their concerns may not be heard after a motion was thrown out at a full meeting of West Lothian Council.

Robert De Bold, the SNP councillor for Livingston North, put forward a motion on behalf of Linlithgow Planning Forum detailing responses from members of the community over the proposed local development plan, at the meeting on Tuesday, December 15.

John Kelly, chairman of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council, said: “This is clearly a disappointment to us and presumably to the 123 residents who turned out in appalling weather on Tuesday, November 17 to the exhibition to make their views known.

“The concern is that planning officers will not discuss any modification to current proposals which affect Linlithgow with the Community Council or its sub-committee The Linlithgow Planning Forum.”

Provost Tom Kerr offered reassurances that their comments would be heard through the usual process, and said the motion would have clashed with procedures already in place.

He said: “I was placed in a position where I had no choice but not to hear this motion. I did find it strange, it was a pretty obvious one. I’m not sure if someone was having mischief!”

During the meeting he read a statement which said: “Approval would second-guess the outcome of the statutory consultation period, it would depart from that statutory process, and would give this response a preferential treatment over others.”

A spokesperson for West Lothian Council commented: “At the present count there have been 807 responses which will be analysed and responded to before the proposed plan is sent to the Ministers.

“The submission by the Linlithgow Planning Forum was received on Thursday, November 19 and is being dealt with in the same way as all of the other responses which were received through the statutory process.”