Canterbury consultation under fire

In the same issue of Faversham News (6 June) as a report on claims that posters for the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan exhibition are misleading, a letter to the editor (p17) levels similar accusations at Canterbury City Council’s draft Local Plan, in this case for using maps on different scales to give a misleading impression of the relative size of development sites, even after the problem had been raised and the steering group had promised that it would be rectified.

Is this sort of thing commonplace? Is it deliberate or just incompetent? Should consultation materials be scrupulously unbiased, or is it OK for councils to use marketing techniques to “sell” their proposals to the public? What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Canterbury consultation under fire

  1. Anna

    Does anyone else remember Esther Rantzen and her ‘jobsworth’ awards? The people involved were generally caring and conscientious people who were doing their jobs as best as they were able. The problem lay and still lies, IMO, in the nature of the work in that it tends to attract a certain personality who prefers to work within strict guidelines and closely defined structures. Those who hold power tend to authoritarianism and paternalism. They heartily dislike anything that dares challenge their views.

    The people with vision and creativity are not going to work in these offices and therein lie the problems. The personalities who are creative tend to be dismissed as mere ‘arty farty’ types (with perhaps the exception of visionary architects) come to be seen almost as the enemy when what in fact is urgently needed is a willing blend of the two.

    Is it all too late? Possibly, but I suspect we will need to abandon our ‘Englishness’ to man and woman the barricades in all parts of the country where these pointless bureaucratic processes are taking place if we want to be heard.

    Reply
  2. James Gourley

    One doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe that those little jacks in office who take decisions like this are not in the market for genuine discussion. Once they have made their dim minds up, they are not interested in the opinions of those who disagree and who have to live with their second-rate decisions. So it’s not just Faversham, or Canterbury – it’s a sickness that infects the whole of local government. They are “dressed in a little, brief authority”, and actually believe they know best. So I prophesy that the “consultation” on the Faversham neighbourhood plan will result in zero changes – it’s just going through the motions so they can say they asked our opinion. Remember you heard it here first – no changes will be made.

    Reply

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