Beware of the Leopard

Posted on 28th June, 2019


UPDATE:  NSC Statement of Community Involvement 



Do you ever feel that planning development activity, consultations and information is not as forthcoming, transparent and accessible as it could be from our 'elected' reprentatives, with clearly defined possible effects for our community e.g. Bristol AirportFrackingLocal Plan/Settlement Boundary  Neighbourhood Development PlanJSP, NPPF, etc.?


A member of the public sent us this extract, "Beware of the Leopard" from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (1978):

"... MISTER PROSSER: But Mister Dent the plans have been available in the planning office for the last nine months!

ARTHUR DENT: Yes! I went round to find them yesterday afternoon. You'd hadn't exactly gone out of your way to pull much attention to them have you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.


MISTER PROSSER: The plans were on display.

ARTHUR DENT: Ah! And how many members of the public are in the habit of casually dropping around the local planning office of an evening?



ARTHUR DENT: It's not exactly a noted social venue is it? And even if you had popped in on the off chance that some raving bureaucrat wanted to knock your house down, the plans weren't immediately obvious to the eye were they?


MISTER PROSSER: That depends where you were looking.

ARTHUR DENT: I eventually had to go down to the cellar!


MISTER PROSSER: That's the display department.

ARTHUR DENT: With a torch!


MISTER PROSSER: The lights, had… probably gone.

ARTHUR DENT: So had the stairs!



Well you found the notice didn’t you? 

ARTHUR DENT: Yes. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”. Ever thought of going into advertising?



It’s not as if it is a particularly nice house anyway. 

ARTHUR DENT: I happen rather to like it! ..."


(Taken from the website here)

Openness and transparency are now usually part of all council's Code of Conduct, to ensure that residents are made aware of issues and consulted appropriately. For example,

"OPENNESS - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing."

With the advent of websites this should be easy to achieve, so why is it so difficult for Bleadon's legal representatives?

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