Residents’ views should play a part in decision making

It’s often galling to find that after a consultation taking place, the outcome sometimes contradicts what you’d hoped for. The magnificent public response to protecting the Outwoods played an important role in having the area protected from large scale
development within the LDF, and yet wasn’t enough to convince the Planning Inspector to agree with them and the
Borough Councillors in rejecting the housing development at Bramcote Road.

But dispiriting as that certainly has been, don’t give up participating. I passionately believe if ‘localism’ means anything we must continue to be heard and strive to own where we all live. We listen and consult continually - through our South West Area Forum,
through our Monthly Surgeries with constituents, through talking with our MP, and when you contact us directly with worries and suggestions. The County Council consulted the public on its proposed Budget between 11th-27th January. There was publicity in the Press and on County Councillor Peter Lewis’s County Chairman’s Blog.  The County Council received 245 replies, of which 20% were County employees! What did they say?:

  • Libraries should be protected and services for the vulnerable and children
  • Money could be saved from transport, reducing street lighting, and reduce grass cutting
  • Council Tax should rise to protect services – marginally preferred by respondents over streamlining management
  • Leadership must be demonstrated by taking tough decisions.

This is a mere summary. Sometimes it’s contradictory. You can find the full responses in far more detail on the
County Website. County Councillor Peter Lewis said that the question he would ask in response would be: “Does this reflect your view? These replies form part of Cabinet decision making, but if I’m honest, I do wonder what significance should be placed on 245 responses from the whole County?”

For consultation to be more meaningful we need to make sure (a) folk know about it and (b) they respond. I would urge you all, please stay alert and have your say in the future.

This article is taken from the latest Outwoods and Nanpantan In Touch leaflet

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