I'm in the dark and want to know more
I asked to join the Facebook Groups and was accepted. The Facebook Group had been set up by Faye Dicker following a conversation that she had had with Alyson Lampard.
Both Faye and Alyson are two people from Whitchurch Village. I did not know these ladies but I knew that we had one thing in common, we were against the plans that we saw in the in the British Legion.
What went around in my head was, WHY HAVE I not been told about the plans? I moved to Whitchurch in 1981. When I bought my house, I was told that there were thoughts of running a road along the foothills of Dundry. I didn’t think much more about it for 20 years because nothing more was heard. Someone else, who I know, bought a house in the same street in 2009. They were told that there were thoughts of running a road along the foothills of Dundry. Again, in the following 10 years, I had heard nothing more.
Then, out of the blue, in Nov 18, I heard the news that there were plans to use Whitchurch Lane as the South Bristol Orbital Highway.
During the meeting at The Legion, took a picture of a list of useful information. The most important one was that comments for the JSP consultation needed to be in by 7th January 2019. There was a link to the details of the plan.
I still did not understand why I was finding this information out from BaNES council when I live within the Bristol City Council area.
I needed to find out more. I started to do some research. I looked at: www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-buildiing-control/local-plan-2016-2036
I then found out that there was going to be a meeting for BCC people held in Stockwood library on 3rd December. I went along. There were a number of posters with lots of words but very little detail. There were council staff there, I was told that someone involved with the planning was invited BUT they did bit turn up! I asked a variety of questions including the obvious ones relating to Whitchurch Lane. i.e. how on earth can Whitchurch lane become a ring road? Including: If there would be any Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO’s). I was told no by a female member of staff. I asked how the road would be adapted to be a ring road? I was told, by a male member of staff, that BCC had a budget to make alterations such as roundabouts. This really wasn’t a ‘meeting’ it was just members of the public all crowding around posters and trying to get to ask the BCC staff as they mingled. At this point I started speaking with Stockwood resident, he seemed to be asking similar questions to me. He was on my wave length. Little did I know at this point I would be speaking with the very resident again. I left that meeting with more questions than answers.
I continued my research and established that Tim Kent, a local councillor for BCC would also be holding a meeting on 10th December. Prior to that meeting I heard that Tim Kent was asking for volunteers to deliver the Focus, with details of the meeting to discuss the plans. I am not politically motivated at all but I was happy to share information that might be useful to my friends and neighbours. Also I had an early Christmas present of a fit bit and I need the steps! I delivered 100+ leaflets to every home on Ridgeway Lane. Excellent for the fit bit steps! Unfortunately, a few days later, I came down with a chest infection and could not go to the meeting on 10th December. Once I had recovered, Christmas was upon us.
I sent off my comments for the JSP in time for the deadline of 7th Jan.
On 5th January, I emailed BCC to complain about two things, 1, the plans themselves and 2, the very poor communication between BCC and the residents
On 10th January I received an email back saying that my email was DELETED and UNREAD!
For the people who already knew me, they will have known that I was not going to be happy about that. I do not like to be ripped off, ignored, fobbed off, cheated, or treated unfairly in any way. My friends and family also know that I will stand up for myself and others in a positive, constructive and respectful way.
I shared what had happened within the group and it was picked up by a local councillor and raised as an issue at a full council meeting at BCC. The matter was a serious issue, if it had happened to me, who else had it happened to?
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