Getting the Wording Right.

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The Parish Council, like many organisations, has used a number of formal phrases in its public announcements that are rarely questioned. However recently attention was drawn to a phrase regularly used that might lead to a situation where the interests of the public might not be protected.

The agenda for a Council meeting is normally published four clear days before the meeting and contains all the planning applications received at that date. The Agenda has included the sentence;

"The following Planning Applications will be examined at the meeting along with any others received up to the day of the meeting"

A resident was concerned that a large and possibly controversial planning application could be received at the last minute and the public would not have sufficient notice to attend the meeting and voice any concerns they might have. While the Council felt that it would never act in this way and would always call an extraordinary meeting to discuss any large or controversial applications under such circumstances, they did agree that, technically the resident was correct.

Therefore, from now onward the sentence will read;

"The following Planning Applications will be examined at the meeting along with any others received up to the day of the meeting providing that the late application does not cover more than one dwelling"

A small point no doubt, but words do matter and getting the wording correct is still important

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