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Shipwrights Way.

The Row Continues

Why wasn't Maureen Comber, a local councillor and a representative of the BHS, invited to the meeting?

Maureen has just written to Sandy Hopkins and Patrick.Burridge at East Hampshire District Council asking for an explanation

Maureen Comber Dear Sandy,

I emailed you on the 11th January with regard to a meeting of the Steering Group for the Shipwrights Ways. I informed you that Members were not permitted to attend that meeting which I thought indicated a lack of transparency. However the Portfolio Holder and neighbouring Ward Cllr. Ken Carter, had kindly agreed to put forward questions which were of concern to me. He also said he would get back to me with the answers.

That has not happened, so as a Councillor for the Ward through which part of this project must run and also the local representative for The British Horse Society, I have been totally excluded from having any input or influence on a scheme which will impact on my electorate as well as our Members. The previous public consultation in December led one to believe that there would be further consultation on the route etc. As you see below there are now plans to open the first section in March.!!

I have just been listening to David Cameron on the BBC News explaining his vision of the Big Society. He made it very clear that he expects TRANSPARENCY, and that Local Councils should be democratically accountable.

That is not what I am seeing here so I would like an explanation please as to why:

My concerns have apparently not been addressed? Why I have not received any minutes of the Steering Group meeting which I understood took place sometime in January? Why the numerous questions from the public have not been answered, since the Project Officer has categorically stated that many of them would be put to the meeting of the Steering Group for deliberation? Why information that I have requested has not been given? Why the timetable for implementation has been altered without further consultation? The reason for the unseemly haste since at the last Stakeholder meeting in December we were told that it would all take at least two years?

I think more than anything else, that the way this project has been handled and the exclusion of local Ward Councillors has convinced me that the concern and scepticism of Local people to the Whitehill/Bordon Eco Town project may not be unfounded, and that the sheer force of weight of EHDC, HCC and the Forestry Commission will steamroller over public opinion whatever that may be, in order to accomplish spending a very large amount of EHDC developer contributions for a project which will deliver very little in the way of public benefit to local people.

What do you think?
Should Maureen have been invited to the meeting?
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