In light of the Echo newspaper article today, we have reposted below our original post so that comments may be taken in context.
Interesting that the cpbc leader cllr Smith acknowledged in the Echo article that cpbc have difficulty engaging with residents.
This was highlighted during the 2014 flooding of Canvey Island and during their appeals for participation in consultation events.
Their use of social media and the limited engagement with residents is concerning, even more so in the case during an Emergency event.
“The CPBC Local Plan Consultation formally closed to submissions on the 15th August.
Alarmingly indications are that less than 0.7% of Castle Point residents took part in the process that will shape the future of the Borough!
“The Council invited comments on the contents of a new Local Plan…. Responses are yet to be analysed but initial indications show that more than 1100 comments were received from over 630 individuals and organisations.”
We say that less than 0.7% of the 89,000+ Castle Point residents made their views known, as the total number of responses included those of neighbouring Councils and Developers!
There can be no doubt, that there is a disengagement with our local authority by residents!
That residents views are ignored, is a view challenged by councillors, but a view that, going by the number of responders, must be recognised!
This disengagement contrasts starkly from the Canvey Green Belt Campaign Referendum that managed to visit and ask residents their thoughts on Green Belt development on Canvey Island, and engaged with over 6,500 residents.
Also the Canvey Ladies who compiled a Petition against development on the Island and achieved over 10,000 signatures.
Not a week goes by without complaints on traffic congestion, and over stacked GP surgery lists. Flats and Houses being developed to more denser and higher designs. Industrial premises taking over important Green Spaces. Flooding becoming more frequent.
With latent feelings running high, why would residents NOT take part in the Local Plan consultation?
0.7% Response is a admittedly a paltry figure considering the number of campaign groups within the Borough.
However, what IS important is the content of the answers given and the documentation in support of what the Local Plan should and should not contain.
Despite this, going by previous experiences, Castle Point council will likely continue to do whatever it suits the current administration.
This is probably why so many attempts to achieve a Local Plan have been forced into withdrawal and fallen by the wayside, and the Government through the Chief Planner, are keeping a very close watch on cpbc’s Local Plan process.
This may be why such a small response was achieved through the Consultation.”