18 Mar

In preparing myself for an appearance on BBC 1 TV, I was briefed to cover aspects of planning problems facing business.

The problems start to occur where the public and private sector interface, especially where there is a rule book to follow.

Predominantly those in planning in particular have little or no experience of business especially in the areas of risk taking, financial controls, cashflows and the reality of delivering a profit that will employ people, or indeed do many of them have experience in being an employer per se.

We have to establish a realistic approach.The UK already has a reputation for “gold-plating” regulation, that is following the rules to the letter rather than as a sensible guide.

There is inflexibility and non-conformity between locations i.e. local authorities and agencies and then between the individuals enforcing the regulations. Too often it has degenerated to an enforcement officer’s personal opinion with embedded likes and dslikes.

There is also poor communication between the various bodies where and when one or more regulatory organisation has to contribute to decisions eg: highways and building regs the problems are increased by the delays and agendas of those individuals and their organisations.

The problems highlighted with planning are a demonstration of a generic symptom. An environment founded on punishment rather than encouragement. A process of penalties rather than guidance. Imagine if you will as a thought, the Roadside Camera that actually adds a bonus point to your account for careful and considerate driving – or even just driving at the correct speed.

However life is not that simple as there are always people attempting to bend the rules so much is based upon dealing with the lowest common denominator.

It needs to have flexibility and reality as its base line.

Roger House


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