Cllr Jane Carr, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Newport Pagnell South, has called on the Audit Committee of Milton Keynes Council to hold a judicially led public style inquiry into the Blakelands planning decision, after the expert the Council brought in to look into the matter resigned, after the final deadline to produce his report passed.
Mr Marc Dorfman today submitted a four-page letter to Milton Keynes Council outlining his reasons for quitting, citing loss of confidence in his report by residents, and accepting responsibility for the failure to produce a report.
Jane Carr, the Lib Dem councillor who represents the Newport Pagnell South ward, where Blakelands is, has called on the Council’s Audit Committee, which commissioned the report, to consider holding an inquiry similar to that of a planning appeal, led by a QC, in order to look at all the evidence openly and in a way that can regain the trust of local residents.
Cllr Jane Carr said:
“Mr Dorfman has let everyone down by not producing his report, especially after he was given so many opportunities to reach his conclusions. It’s a desperately sad day for residents and all those that wanted answers to some very serious questions.”
“My position has always been to support residents, so rather than waste more time and energy, we should look at the evidence before reaching any conclusions, as the concerns of councillors and residents have not gone away.”
“The time has therefore come to commission a new investigation that will clear the air and which we can all have confidence in. I’m therefore calling for a new inquiry, that should be led by a QC in the style of a public inquiry, that can look independently and forensically at the evidence and reach a trusted conclusion based on facts. I believe that the residents should be able to assist in any appointment in order to ensure they can have confidence in the review. It is the only way that we can convince residents that we all have one aim, and that is getting to what happened and making sure we have decision-making that people can have confidence in.”
Conservative Group Leader Cllr Alex Walker told us,
“We welcome Mr Dorfman’s resignation. Although it is long overdue, we now need to grasp this new opportunity for the Council to commission a full external audit.
“It’s clear from his letter not even Mr Dorfman wanted this farce to continue, but Labour and Lib Dem Councillors forced the process forward despite there being absolutely no confidence in the work by residents.
"Mr Dorfman and the BRA raise some serious questions about the independence of the report and influence officers had over the report and we expect these to be very carefully examined.
“It finally seems we have reached a point where the truth may, just may, come out.”
Conservative Newport Pagnell South Cllr Scot Balazs said:
“The Council needs to stop messing about. Mr Dorfman has done the right thing and made the decision for an external audit, the only just way forward. Labour and Lib Dem Cllrs have to listen, their attempts to brush it away have failed. Time to finally join our calls for the external audit.”