We’re shocked to read in a recent audit report that just 650 responses were received for the New Local Plan consultation. Why are we shocked as we know that RDC is hopeless at consultations? The real reason is that 947 responses were given by Rayleigh Action Group to the council! We will be asking the council in due course why these figures are not contained in the consultation response as obviously, this audit report is inaccurate as it currently stands with no clear explanation.
Residents were consulted on the ‘Local Plan: Issues and options
document (and draft sustainability appraisal)’, which closed early in March 2018. As
part of the scoping approval Members of the Planning Policy Sub-Committee
recommended to Council, subsequently so agreed, that all properties in the District
receive a leaflet on the consultation. There was a mail out to some 5-6k residents on a
Planning and Regeneration Services mailing list and use made of the website, social
media and traditional local media, including advertisements and posters. Hard copies
of the consultation were made available at libraries and at both Council receptions,
with the means to provide a response offline. Drop-in events were held in Rayleigh,
Hockley and Rochford. This consultation resulted in around 650 responses. These will
be considered in the next phase of the local plan process.
In conclusion the overview undertaken has provided assurance that the Council
makes use of appropriate means to engage with residents.