Stop bickering, says mayor

Faversham Times, 11 April: Faversham mayor David Simmons is reported as urging residents to “stop bickering” over the Neighbourhood Plan. He says that residents “have had an opportunity to have their say last year” and now should “come together” to produce the plan.

Is a once-a-year “consultation” – which even the organisers now acknowledge was badly flawed – really sufficient? Is “bickering” an appropriate synonym for “citizens being dissatisfied with what the steering group is doing and trying to get a word in edgeways”?

What do you think?


3 thoughts on “Stop bickering, says mayor

  1. Anni Bales

    Well, we did not get an opportunity at all last year as we happened to be on holiday and we didn’t get a leaflet about it either, but let’s move on as they say.

    Bickering is an interesting choice of word. It downgrades legitimate democratic questions and concerns to something that is seemingly more trivial with overtones of people behaving like naughty and tiresome children.. Was it intentional to trivialise our opinions or was it just a rather loose and thoughtless use of words? I’m happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, so will they please just tell me where this coming together is to be held and when?

    1. Hilary Whelan

      Where, when – and how often? Guidelines say consultation and feedback should be continuous, not one-off tick-box exercises. We had one exhibition in May 2012, another is planned for June 8 – and, er … that’s it. At the steering group meeting on March 11, “members noted that the exhibition would probably be the last time for options to be presented to the public for their comments.”


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