The Echo has a very good article today:
COUNCILLORS are worried a one-off exhibition of plans for 1,800 more homes in Rayleigh will be shown at a time few people will see them.
The exhibition on Rochford District Council’s plan to build 3,700 extra homes across the area will tour the district from Thursday, May 31, until Saturday, June 16.
But the exhibition slot chosen for Rayleigh – which will bear the brunt of the extra house-building in the district – will be between noon and 3pm on a Sunday, when councillors fear few people will be in town to see it.
It will take place at the mill, in Bellingham Lane, on Sunday, June 10, between noon and 3pm.
Chris Black, Liberal Democrat member for Downhall and Rawreth, said: “It is not helpful at all.
“Under the proposals, Rayleigh is due to get the most housing and I think we should have been given more prominence.
“We will be publicising the times and place of the exhibition to make sure as many people as possible are aware of it.”
Tony Humphries, a Tory councillor in the Lodge ward, said he shared Mr Black’s concerns.
He said: “Sunday is not the best of times, when there are only a few people around in the town centre, and the windmill is not in the most prominent position.
“I would have thought a Saturday morning or a Wednesday, which is a market day, would have been a more acceptable time for the exhibition.
“It would also have been better to have somewhere more prominent, such as the Mill Hall foyer or the Women’s Institute Hall.”
Sam Hollingworth, a member of the council’s planning policy department, said: “We vary times and places for exhibitions and the Sunday was chosen as it fitted in with the opening times of the mill by Rayleigh Historical Society and the National Trust.”
Once again, Tony Humphries is the Tory who is making the most sense.
Update: The Echo have altered the subject of their article from “No One Will See Vital Plans” to “Rayleigh housing plans unveiled”
I’m absolutely gobsmacked that a council officer could come up with such a stupid and illogical reason for choosing Sunday after lunch when Rayleigh is at its quietist.
Surely they can’t be trying to keep our residents in the dark about the plans to site the major part of new housing developments here? (Could they? —- no I can’t think anyone could be that daft)
If you wanted to keep something quiet, you couldn’t find a better place than Rayleigh Mill on a Sunday afternoon. The people of Rayleigh really do deserve better than this.