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Barred councillor’s planning role  

A councillor barred from debating and voting on wind farm applications has been elected the new chairman of Powys Council’s planning committee.

Bob Mills was penalised in 2006 for breaching guidelines after airing his views about wind energy in a newspaper and at a public meeting.

The council said Mr Mills still faced the restrictions, but they will meet him to discuss the new role.

Mr Mills declined to comment before that meeting takes place.

The council has said previously that it has strict guidelines on impartiality on planning issues.

Following Mr Mills’ election as chair, a council spokesman said: “Officers meet all new elected chairs to discuss the future management of committees.”

‘Unequivocal view’

In a letter to Mr Mills in 2006, the council’s Jeremy Patterson, now an executive director at the authority, reminded him about his responsibility as a member of the planning committee.

Mr Patterson said: “I am aware that you had a letter published in the County Times on 30 December [2005] which on my reading clearly indicates that you have formed a very clear and unequivocal view on the issue of wind power.”

He said Mr Mills had also expressed “very strong views” about wind energy at a council meeting on 26 January, 2006.

In a statement on 15 February 2006, a council spokesman said: “Councillor Mills has been advised that he should not take part in any discussions or vote on any planning application concerning wind energy that is considered by the council.”

Mr Mills said he would not comment until he had met council officers.

BBC News

22 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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