Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Re consultation news...

Some of you may have heard the latest on the reconsultation. 3 of us had the draft delivered on a Friday night by hand with a cover letter asking for feedback by the 30th of October (that days date). On the Monday 1st Nov when the council was next back at work, we asked what the real deadline was and were told the 2nd Nov. So that's 24 hours notice of the deadline.

If the council had told us when we were going to get the documents we could have arranged a meeting for the Monday and given them considered feedback, from the community on the date requested, but they don't seem keen on giving us information as we know.

I sent back my thoughts on the process, (basically outlined below, as in an email sent on the 23rd Sept to which I have still to receive a response from Cllr Belam) and on the wording. There are 3 or 4 documents that will be used depending on where you live.

The Winns Ave questionnaire was far from satisfactory, it asked if we wanted in or out and that was about it. No option to express what days or hours we wanted if it was to remain (we could be included in the N extension if our opinions more closely matched those residents preferences, rather than being left as we are in a zone we didn't want to be in with the hours being the ones least people on the road voted for in LP and the second least popular in the WA section). If the area to the north votes in favour we, on Winns Ave, will be included whether we want it or not and as the document was written we wouldn't have a vote on what those hours would be.

My arguement has always been that we shouldn't have been included first time round as there was no problem and residents didn't want it, we were the end of the zone and so could easily have not been included. Our road is now half empty all the time (according to their own traffic survey) and I have no doubt that we were a buffer that has now been removed, exacerbating the problems outside the zone. But they won't listen, or consult on Winns Ave first and let residents see the changes in surrounding roads if we vote ourselves out. They just want to extend and extend, £££££££££££££££.

The other documents are just as confused, lots of if this road votes this you will be included too, bear in mind this might happen, that might happen, basically I found the documents and the way this has been handled very manipulative.

We even had an email, when we complained that we had no time to talk to residents, implying that it was residents fault, that we delayed the meeting with the council. Just for clarification, we met them in March, they carried out the surveys in March and April (it was only 2 days btw)and then suggested meeting with us in peak holiday weeks in August. We asked for a delay of 3 weeks so that people could attend, they have been delaying for MONTHS. Sorry to shout but honestly, they aren't fooling anyone. I have to say that my first letter (december last year) to the council about this was civil, helpful, had suggestions and and a positive tone. The disregard for common sense, logic, transparency and to be honest an assumption that we, the residents, are stupid is incredible and today I have honestly lost respect for the Council and council officers in particular.

Anyway you should also have received an email inviting you to a group meeting to discuss everything and what response people would like to make.
Phew sorry for a long and ranty one, I will try and check in more regularly and look at any comments/posts that get made.
Hope all are well

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