The Lib Dem Councillors been rather upset over the couple of weeks.
We were upset that the District Council wasn’t doing enough consultation in Rayleigh over the proposed structure plan. This is the plan that could allow another 1800 houses in Rayleigh. But the council’s mobile exhibition was only going to spend 3 hours in the town. At the windmill. On a Sunday afternoon.
Ron wrote to the council on our behalf and didn’t mince his words:
I am writing to you to express my deepest concern and astonishment that the arrangements for the mobile exhibition to visit Rayleigh have been scheduled for a Sunday around lunchtime when the High street and the area around the windmill are likely to be at their quietest.
The reason given by a member of the Planning Department is that this coincides with the windmill being open to the public!
This is undoubtedly nonsense and betrays a total lack of understanding of the importance of obtaining the views of as many Rayleigh residents as possible in what is probably the most important matter for them this decade, namely the proposal that Rayleigh should absorb the majority of projected housing for the district.
To sideline Rayleigh residents in this way is very much open to question and the cynical among us might suggest that they are being deliberately kept in the dark.
I urge you to reconsider and make arrangements for the mobile exhibition to visit at a more appropriate time and place (eg. : Saturday at the Civic Suite or better still ?The Lagoon? in the centre of the High Street).
Our complaints seem to have had an effect. Because today the council agreed to bring their exhibition back to Rayleigh for a second time – The additional exhibition will be in Rayleigh High Street on Wednesday 20 June between 8am and 2pm.
As the council website says today:
This follows concern that some people in the Rayleigh area would not be able to attend the exhibitions in Rawreth Village Hall car park on Thursday 7 June between 3.30 and 7.30pm, or at Rayleigh Windmill on Sunday 10 June between 12noon and 3pm.
So we’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the council officers for being big enough to change their minds on this issue.