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Local plan should be postponed - Scott Kennedy-Lount

October 18, 2020 9:03 AM
By Scott Kennedy-Lount in Leicester Mercury letters page, October 14th, 2020

Scott Kennedy-Lount calls for the latest stage of the draft local plan to be postponed

As a major piece of local provision for the future, considering the city is a Tier 2 Covid Stage, one wonders why Leicester City Council has rushed to move towards the next stage of the Public Consultation of the Draft Local Plan.

One questions if a fair democratic process is currently being exercised by the Labour dominated council?

Does the Council believe they are undertaking a proper public debate hoping to engage with residents and businesses during the lockdown by moving responses to the consultation online or dictated over the the telephone as the appropriate way to obtain the best results for the future?

Moving comments to the consultation online as per Statement of Community Involvement, Temporary Addendum of June 3rd is not democratic and not fair for those who don't have access to computers. Surely the Labour Party wouldn't exclude the electorate by conducting a programme which divides the technical "Haves and Have Nots" would they?

If the Consultation had been to timetable between March and June of this year, the Council advised in its Frequently Asked Questions section of the Draft Local plan:

"As part of the public consultation we will be holding various events where you can come and talk to us about the Draft Local plan and what is important for you for living, working and visiting the city."

Clearly this is not possible under present circumstances.

The whole Consultation at present needs to be postponed until a time when everyone can engage properly in the process; not a hidden away online response or telephone statements from full public gaze and accountability.