The planning enforcement team working for Labour-run York Council has a huge backlog of 600 cases of where planning rules have been breached with unauthorised development.

The response to this has been to redeploy two out of the five planning officers in the department to work full time on trade union activity while continuing to have their salaries paid for by the Council Taxpayer.

Cllr Sian Wiseman, a Conservative opposition councillor, says:

“Planning enforcement is a matter of real importance to residents and losing these officers is a setback.

“One has to question the priorities of a council which either allows this to happen or which has found itself in a position where it can find itself dictated to regarding the secondment of officers to union duties. It’s the people of York who are being short-changed.”

She is quite right, of course. You can get some terrible eyesores. A house left to go derelict can drag down a whole street.

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