Cllr Sarah Marquis (Labour, Barnhill) announced at the last meeting of the current Planning Committee tonight that she will not be standing as Chair again. The new chair is due to be elected at the Labour Group's Annual General Meeting shortly after the May 3rd election.
I understand that Cllr Marquis wishes to return to her legal career. She was always judicious in her role and mindful of the Committee's independence. For a considerable period the Committee was chaired by Councillor Amer Aghar while Marquis was on maternity leave.
The position is a bed of nails at a time when the Committee has to consider many controversial proposals, particularly those in the Quintain regeneration area. Multi-million developments have been approved by a single vote on occasions when many of the Committee have abstained.
In the background there have also been the controversies reported on this blog over the Council leader's relationship with Quintain and the issue of unminuted meetings with developers that resulted in changes to Councillor Guidelines on planning issues.