Complaint made against councillor accused of being ‘biased’

getSURREY reports:

Marsha Moseley has been accused of interrupting public speakers to favour a planning applicant

Oct 20, 2014 09:27
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Cllr Marsha Moseley at a Parish meeting to discuss a planning application between Ash and Tongham

A Guildford borough councillor has come under fire again after an official complaint about her was lodged with the council.

The Beechcroft Drive Residents’ Association has raised issue with the way a public meeting, held earlier this month to discuss planning applications, was managed, specifically referring to an item dealing with minor alterations to the already approved university vet school.
Two public speakers objecting to the proposal, which was approved at the meeting, were interrupted during their speeches by committee chairman Marsha Moseley, who claimed they were not addressing the specific application being discussed.
“The interruptions were subjective, biased and could only favour the applicant,” said John Robson, one of the speakers and chairman of the residents’ association. “We would expect the chairman to show impartiality; we found none. Given that the content of the speeches was not abusive or defamatory, we should have been allowed to continue for the full three minutes without challenge.
“At best, this conduct is unprofessional; at worst, it has served to produce an imbalanced debate and allowed an application to proceed without formal challenge.”
Mr Robson wanted councillors to visit the site to appreciate what he said was the real issues they face, particularly that the university had not provided adequate screening of the vet school.
A visit was suggested during the debate but was not backed by a majority.
The residents’ group wanted councillors to refer to the Manor Park Development Brief 2003, which it said would have required developments on the campus to provide mitigation for the impact from the area of outstanding natural beauty and Beechcroft Drive.
Cllr Moseley said she could not comment specifically on the complaint as she was not aware of it but said: “I was chairing the meeting in the correct manner”, adding that she interjected because the speakers were not addressing the plan under discussed.

Last week she had to defends claims that she had been using her phone and playing games during a full council meeting.