Many of you will be aware that UDC is currently working on a New Development Plan for the district with R4U members working in the group, which is charged with recommending its structure to the Cabinet and then to the Full Council.
The process started with great optimism that it would be open and democratic and all residents would have the opportunity to participate or at least be properly consulted on a number of occasions as the work proceeded. The trend however is worrying, with one of the consultations withdrawn without giving the working party the opportunity to properly discuss and vote on the issue.
Many other decisions appear to have been taken behind closed doors and presented to the working group as fait accompli. Also in his rejection of the last plan, HM Inspector made it completely clear that a new settlement must be properly evaluated in the new plan.
So it was bizarre that a vote was seen as necessary to approve precisely this consideration of a new settlement.
R4U will continue to hold the administration to account to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated and I urge all residents to express their own opinions wherever and whenever possible.
If you would like to discuss this or any other topic (not just restricted to SW!) please see me at my surgery this coming Saturday (16th April) at the Walden in Transition Community Café in Saffron Walden Town Hall between 10 30 and Noon.
What else can you do?
- Write a letter to your local paper expressing your view. Lots of people who don’t use social media, read The Walden Local, The Dunmow Broadcast and The Saffron Walden Reporter;
- Join our Facebook page and join in with the online debate. We have vibrant regular discussion and it helps to generate ideas and make sure they are swiftly fed back to councillors;
- Contact your local councillor or R4U representative by filling out the contact form here;
- Set up your own local residents group -meet in the pub, or village hall, or someone’s kitchen, talk about the issues that matter to you and start telling other folk about it. If you’d like some support in getting started (and some handy materials to help) email firstname.lastname@example.org.