Building contractors and engineers from the "Forum of 15" group of local authorities have met to discuss ways to reduce the red tape in obtaining building permits, reports www.local.co.il. And one of their main suggestions is to allow builders representation on local planning and construction committees. According to the report, an engineering representative said one of the obstacles holding up the development of cities was the composition of local planning and construction committees, which often placed mayors seeking development in a minority against various "environmental" factions. The engineer said that allowing contractors to have representatives on the committees would balance out the competing interests. Contractors also complained that they were faced with too much bureaucracy, saying that in order to obtain permits they had to obtain numerous authorizations from an assortment of sources, including several municipal departments, fire safety services and banks, among others. They said such demands should be streamlined and standardized between local authorities, and decided to set up a committee to prepare a standardization agreement for city engineers to sign. The "Forum of 15" is a breakaway group of 15 financially successful local authorities, including Ra'anana, Kfar Saba, Hod Hasharon and Herzliya, among other central cities.