Corruption in Portsmouth?

A councillor has been arrested in Portsmouth over allegations that he took money to support planning applications.

Of course this chap is innocent until proven guilty. Our only reason for mentioning this story is that Portsmouth City Council has only nine councillors on its ‘development control committee’. That’s a fairly typical number for a council.

Rochford District however , has thirty-nine councillors on our committee – that’s every single councillor. We think that’s unique in England, and every once in a while some government bureaucrat tries to get us to make the committee smaller, in the name of ‘efficiency’

However most councillors in Rochford want to stay with a big committee. And one of the many reasons we like it like this that it does reduce the possibility of corruption – it’s awfully hard to use bribery to win over a committee of 39!