THE “AMINGTON” MPPA
END UP IN GLASCOTE WARD??
Here is the letter of complaint to the Council - and the Chief Executive’s reply - plus all of his appendices. All worth a read - if you have the time to wade through it! I’ve read it all very carefully and still can’t work out when, where and why this MPPA suddenly ended up in the Glascote Ward. Perhaps Amington’s Tory Councillors might shed some light on it? Then again perhaps not!
Tamworth Council Chief Executive
Dear Mr Weatherley
Consultation Process - Multi Use Play Area - Amington, South of Kerria Centre.
I have been asked to write on behalf of residents of Briar, Brookweed, Foxglove and Greenheart (BBFG) to make a complaint about the lack of consultation for the above development.
I first heard about the development from a resident referring me to a letter that appeared in the Tamworth Herald around the beginning of April.
In response Cllr Powick and myself organised a meeting with Peter Smith and Rob Mitchell.The outcome of that meeting was a batch of documents professing to establish that a proper consultation process had indeed taken place.The documents (copies available) included a covering letter dated 15th April 2008, that referred to 15 various instances of types of consultations on the project to date.
The vast majority of those instances either refer to a site that was between Juniper and the Kerria centre. Or did not refer to any site - only the area of Amington and a vague reference to play facilities.The only instance of consultation with the whole of BBFG was on the 22nd May 2007 - and then again it only mentions the Juniper proposal. .I am now told since that the Street Wardens additionally consulted face to face with various residents of BBFG (as well as others) during their patrols.Also posters that may have been placed in shops etc. took no account of the fact that BBFG, is a private estate nearer to the Glascote facilities and the more easily accessible and comprehensive town centre facilities and so were very unlikely to use either the ARCH or Amington facilities.
Then last month, in April, - a whole year and four months after the consultation began (note - others have mentioned a four year consultation period but so far I am only aware of a consultation process dating from 12/12/2006) it became known that the project had suddenly shifted to a new site directly affecting BBFG. This was without any additional consultation. I am still not clear how the decision was made to change the site - or who instigated the proposal to change. I am told the reason for the site change was that the original site was too wet. 14 months to discover a site is too wet! This beggars belief!
It was a more than insensitive re-location considering there had already been strong public objection to a MUPA in exactly the same area only very recently. A teen shelter already at the site- also against the wishes of local people - also causes instances of anti-social behaviour affecting BBFG residents.
Cllr Powick and myself organised our own leaflet consultation of the 460 odd BBFG properties affected. A results report is appended to this letter. There were 60 response forms representing 87 residents - which you will know is an extremely high response rate - particularly as they had to pay for their own stamps! Those responses overwhelmingly clear that 98% of residents in BBFG were not consulted neither on the site nor on the nature of this project. I have kept all the original response forms should they be needed.
In addition the Glascote Councillors were not consulted at all on this project. Although it is pointed out that we received in our Cllr. pigeon holes an Amington ARCH Newsletter that contained a reference to the project - again the project mentioned was only that at Juniper. Amington Councillors have, we are told, been involved from an early stage.
Cllr Powick and myself tried to get a meeting between Officers and Residents as soon as possible - but a convenient date for both was not available until Saturday 10th May. On 9th May, Friday,work started on the development.
At the residents meeting on 10th May (last Saturday) it was made very clear to Officers that none of the residents had been consulted and many of them had serious and valid concerns and suggestions that could have been made.
Therefore the complaint is on the following grounds.
1. Residents of BBFG received a totally inadequate or nil consultation on a development that affected them more than anybody else.What consultation was received by them related to another site entirely.
2. Glascote councillors received no consultation at all on the development.
3. Despite these serious issues and concerns expressed over these last few weeks, and our last minute efforts to find out and collate the views of local residents,Council has decided to rush ahead with the development. It appears it is going to be bull-dozed through come what may.The Council has shown that it is not prepared to listen to the views of residents most affected by this development.
The residents asked the Officers who were present at the meeting on Saturday if they would halt the work until a new and proper consultation was held with residents in the affected area.The Officers said they did not have that power. I would be grateful if you would pass this request to the person(s) who does have that direct power, on behalf of Tamworth Council,halt the development and to instigate a meaningful consultation process with these residents.
I would be grateful if you would investigate all the circumstances surrounding this complaint.Any reply will be copied through to local residents.
You will also be aware that I have put a question to Thursday's Full Council about the guidance that is available to Officers for such consultation processes.
Cllr Chris Cooke
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