Continuing to gather information
I wrote a poem to be read out to Marvin, it took me 20-30 minutes to put together. I want to attract his attention to help to make his visit to Whitchurch memorable. (5.30 mins in the video below)
I also wanted to bring to his attention to the issue of the deleted and unread email! (16.00 mins in the video below). I also had put an official complaint in about the deleted email. The progressed the complaint through the procedure. I also took the issue to my MP Karin Smyth. At this point, it wasn’t so much about my email but the fact that it had happened. Had it happened to anyone else, why was it happening and, more importantly, what were they going to do to stop it happening again?
The reason why it happened was it happened was that there was an algorithm in the system that picked up that I was a council tax payer and ‘ping’ it to the council tax people. I can only assume that it got deleted there because was anything to do with council tax. I have been assured that this ‘filter’ and any other like it has been removed. IF YOU HAVE EMAILED THE COUNCIL AND NOT HAD A REPLY, IT MIGHT BE WORTH YOU CHECKING WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR EMAIL. I appreciated the help from Cllr Tim Kent and Karin Smyth MP supporting me to deal with the issue.
The arrangements for the meeting were in place. The meeting was filmed and put onto YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&v=sMLTfBWilFs
During the meeting I sat next to a family who turned out to be neighbours who live along the same road as me. I would not have not have started to talk with them if it hadn’t been for the meeting. It turned out that he had actively been involved in other community campaigns over many years. I was beginning to feel that this campaign is going to start uniting our community and not divide us as the road was physically trying to do!
As a direct result of the meeting, the Mayor, arranged for his transport team to visit us. The Facebook, by this time had 1000’s of people in it. There were so many messages going between the core group and various people, I don’t know how we all coped. We all had our jobs and lives to juggle with as well! Just as we had a variety of people volunteer to do the posters and videos etc, we also had various people with skills connected with planning and transport. These people naturally became the people to meet with Marvin’s transport team.
At his point, I still think that it is a cheek to expect local people to offer alternatives to the plans, I think that the locals should have been invited BEFORE the plans were even drawn up! If he had not come to Whitchurch, we would not have even been offered this! However this was also an opportunity to possibly have some influence over future plans.
My focus at this point was keeping an eye open for the next consultation, the JLTP4 (the draft Joint Local transport Plan) Plan number 4, why had I not heard of plan 1, 2 and 3? (but that is another question that I just have not got the time to ask!) I had heard that it was due to be launched in February.
Following the visit from Marvin the core group meet a number of times. At this point we appreciate being a team of friends and neighbours. It is great not being bound by rules and regulations. The core group seems to have a balance of all the skills and abilities that work together. We discuss and put together our aims values.
I needed to continue to help spread the word about what we knew already and gather as much information as I could.
Another meeting, in Stockwood, Saturday 19th January, this one held by Kerry McCarthy MP. I go to Stockwood again, I am beginning to start recognised faces from previous meetings. I was astounded to read. in the handout from the BCC Strategic Transport, that it said that there would be a significant reduction in through traffic and improved access to the A4 and A37. It also said that there would be some negative impacts for some Stockwood residents. It also had the comment that they were aware of the concerns by residents around Whitchurch Lane and that they intend to provide further details for potential improvements to Whitchurch Lane. As at 04/04/19 I have seen NO details for potential improvements.
The following week I was invited to a meeting at Mary Walsh’s home. Mary has been campaigning for issues affecting Whitchurch Village for very many years. She has a wealth of experience. Each meeting I am starting to get a better picture of the overall picture.
6th February. The JLTP4 consultation is launched…..
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