I went to Sandwell council house in Oldbury the other night to object to the proposed planning application for a chicken factory at Black Lake. Glad to say that it was refused, though I suspect this outcome had been cooked up before the meeting had even started.
I have sat through a full council meeting before from the public gallery, and I have seen the amount of food that is prepared for these councillors- you would not believe it- but looking at the size of some of them, you probably could.
Objectors and applicants are allowed just 5 minutes to speak, and where more than 1 objector is present you have to share the time between you- which means that you really don’t know who you could be sharing time with. Luckily the application was near the start of the meeting, and there were quite a few locals there who had objected. After the applicant had tried to argue his case, a resident spoke and then myself, followed by Councillor Olwen Jones. Funny to be on the same side for a change as a Sandwell councillor, but for completely different reasons.
Since my last visit of objection there, concerning a Rhodia application for hazardous substance consent- (see our sister site if you are unfamiliar with our fight concerning this toxic lagoon that kills birds), they have changed the microphone settings. A snazzy bendable mic that pulls out- just like being on Match of the Day or even The Eurovision song contest.
Looking upward, a massive projector connected up to a computer whizzed through files concerning each application and above that the centrepiece chandelier effort sparkled fake bling on the gloomy room. No doubt in the rafters there are probably some masonic symbols lurking, or pictures of Karl Marx.
Thankfully it was a “no” from them who make the decisions. No chicken death camp for now with a show of hands. I doubt that if any of them didn’t live near the proposed site it would have been passed- but that’s the funny thing with amateur politicians like their “professional” counterparts isn’t it. Looking after number one, and talking quite a bit of number two.