Where do residents sit within the council feedback loop?

The opinions of local residents seem to be falling on deaf ears. Gwynedd County Council seems to be missing in the communication loop as residents and councillors concerns over licensing and planning applications in Bangor go increasingly unheard. There has been a proliferation of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and the licensing committee has approved various applications, despite opposition from Bangor Councillors and residents.
The makeup of the licensing committee in particular leaves much to be desired in Bangor, with an ever-growing concern over late night openings not only on Bangor High Street but also in residential areas. Residents are expressing concerns over recent developments and changes, but communication streams don’t seem to be so receptive.
The police are more inclined to approve licensing applications, which became apparent following a meeting with a local officer regarding an increase in applications from premises asking for later opening hours across the City.
From planning, licensing, to refusing public meetings, May 2012 has signalled a rapid decline in the accountability of Gwynedd Council. Residents no longer seem to be able to use democratic processes to hold the council, in its entirety, to account.
Rhys Taylor
Bangor City Councillor, Upper Bangor
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