As advised previously, the next stage of consultation, the Local Plan Publication Version (LPPV), starts on Friday 24 June 2016, running for six weeks, over the holiday period.
We wrote to the Council, copy your MPs and Dodworth/Darton W Councillors, asking for an extension of at least two weeks to take into account the timing. Apart from a cryptic response from one of the Darton W Councillors, no support from the copy recipients, but this from the Council:
In accordance with the Statement of Community Involvement we have given prior notice of the intended start of consultation. Whilst not all the background information is available at present the proposed allocations and policies are available on the website with the Full Council papers. A lot of the evidence for our approach, for example to our spatial strategy, will remain unchanged and is still available with the 2014 consultation draft information. I appreciate that the consultation period is during Summer, but most people are away for two weeks at the most, which leaves four weeks of the statutory period to comment in addition to the 3 week prior notice. Unfortunately it is difficult to programme a 6 week consultation period for any time during the year that doesn’t clash with something such as Christmas, Spring breaks, half term, Easter etc. The regulations don’t require us to consult for more than 6 weeks. Individuals are welcome to contact us during the consultation period if they are having a particular difficulty and we will provide assistance where we can. However, at this time we have no intention of extending the consultation period.
So there! So long as we, the Council, cover our backsides, we’re satisfied.
The situation may be improved if there is adequate publicity, so we asked what arrangements are going to be made to reach all corners of the communities affected. We await a response from the Council, an acknowledgement from the Dodworth Ward Labour Councillor and nothing at all from the Dodworth Indies. We have received an informal response from one of the Darton W Councillors on the drop ins planned for our area:
- Barugh Green Club: 20th July: 1.30 – 3 pm;
- Better Barnsley Shop in town centre: Wed 13 July 1.30 – 3 pm; Sat 23rd July 1.30 – 3 pm
Last time, there was a drop in at Gawber Community Centre, which was reasonably central. We have asked if this can be repeated in addition to the Barugh Green WMC event but no response so far. Another possibility would be the Wade Street Chapel Hall.
Last time, after some pressure, the drop in was publicised by your Councillors organising a leaflet drop to all affected addresses. Again, we have asked whether this will be carried out this time, to reach non-i-Phone user residents. So far, no response.
This stage of the process is the most important, setting the Local Plan “in stone” before signing off with the Government Inspector. We know from FOIA answers that there is continued and detailed negotiation between developers and the Council over the fate of site MU1. As far as they’re concerned, it’s a done deal. Is that what you want?
To help your less-computer savvy neighbours, you could, of course, make your own approach to your Councillors and MPs. Basically:
- Will all affected residents be individually informed of this very important process?
- Will residents have access to a suitable and convenient venue to see the proposals and be able to ask questions?
Darton W Councillors:
Old Town Councillors:
Members of Parliament:
Please let us know how you get on.