As I mentioned in a blog post here a fortnight ago, I've had a real conundrum to deal with, with regards to the Cardigan Primary School planning application.
The issue as stated previously is that whilst I sit on the Governing Body of the school, the plans and the impact of the new entrance onto Pont-Y-Cleifion in particular, have aroused concerns from local residents. As their local Councillor, it is my duty to represent those concerns at the necessary level. However, as a Council appointed member of the primary school's governing body, I have had a clear conflict of interest.
Well, thankfully, the planning committee deferred the application to give me time to seek dispensatrion from the Standards Committee to speak at the meeting next month and in the meantime, sought a site inspection panel to meet on-site next week to further look into the application.
This is the first time in 7 years on the Council in which I have felt obliged to go in front of the Standards Committee to request the dispensation to speak. Not doing so would mean that I wouldn't be able to fulfill the basic task of being an elected Councillor - representing the views of local residents in my ward.
So the Standards Committee met this morning and I attended to give my take on this complicated predicament. I'm pleased to report that they granted me my request of speaking in both the site inspection panel meeting next Monday and in any subsequent planning committee meetings that deliberate on this issue for the next 12 months.
It would've been a sad day for local democracy had the standards committee decided otherwise and forced me to resign from the governing body to do my job. But thankfully, it hasn't come to that. Today's decision means that I can do my job of representing local views whilst retaining my place on the Governing Body of Cardigan Primary School.