Why is it some people are left alone to run their farms while others get nothing but trouble from their local council?   It's a fact that some farmers get help and advice from their council while others are bullied and refused information.   Where is the consistency?

The answer to these questions is that some council officers do favours for mates - sometimes for back door payments.  Others, just enjoy using their positions of power to give people they don't like a hard time - it makes them feel important.  It would seem there is a hidden agenda which effectively discriminates against some ratepayers and about which you may wish to lobby your local Member.  The Members are there to represent the people, contrary to advice from certain officers, that the Members are there to protect the Council.  According to the Nolan Committee, the officers most likely to be accepting bribes are long serving and in positions of power.  If you are dealing with an officer who's been with your council a long time, it is a statistical certainty he or she is corrupt.

August 2003 - who will look after the Horses?

On Wednesday 27th August 2003, 3 Wealden Council officers descended on Hammer Lane Farm in yet another visit where this council is seeking to deny the occupiers their right to Health & Safety minimum standards.  This is a favourite tactic employed by Wealden's enforcement officers to harass farmers. Now apparently endorsed by the legal department.  In one case the head enforcement officer Phillips forced a local Nursery to remove buildings required under H& S Regulations, then admitted he'd mislead the committee authorising the enforcement action.  Some time later the same Council were forced to give permission to re-erect the buildings they'd insisted were removed.  We would advise the Planter concerned to consider suing David Phillips in person, claiming damages for his professional negligence.  

August 2003 - who will look after the Chickens?

Don't forget also that every council owes a DUTY to the ratepayer to ensure an effective administration and to appoint officers necessary to properly discharge their functions.  Clearly then, officers failing to observe the rights of the citizen should be replaced with officers who will act in accordance with statute such as the Human Rights Act.

If any officer maligns, misrepresents facts or fails to properly advise Committee Members concerning planning applications or enforcement issue, the member of the public concerned might consider taking action against the slander.  Wealden in common with most other council's now record Committee meetings.  These recordings are publicly funded, hence public property.  Why not ask your council to provide you with a copy of their recording, if you believe any officer may have acted unlawfully.