Comment by Observer
During the week I picked up a comment on Twitter aimed at UckfieldNew.com
It was with reference to the report that fewer than 40 people attended the annual town meeting (report here) asking those “who demand, complain and ‘observe’, to take note.
I couldn’t agree more.
The turnout after a year of controversy in Uckfield was derisory. Roadworks, town centre regeneration, future of Ridgewood Rec, rail station platform extension plan . . . the town at times has been in a ferment.
Once we get to the annual set-piece meeting for resident to air views, fewer than 40 out of an adult population of thousands turns up.
There is an argument more could be done to “promote” the event. Many nearby villages display prominent banners on the roadside but to be fair I saw online and elsewhere mention of the Uckfield event.
Do you have to go and knock on every individual door to tell people what is happening?
The reason that Observer agrees with the observation on Twitter is that Observer never misses a chance to take part in a consultation process.
It doesn’t matter whether it is county, district or town – I will have my say; especially now it is easily done online. I attended the Neighbourhood Plan group’s open day and took the opportunity to leave comments.
I am happy to make my views clear at the earliest opportunity and help local authorities shape policy. It is my heartfelt wish that everyone gets in at the ground-floor stage.
My recommendation for the authorities is to use online, Twitter, Facebook, any other social media you can think of. Put up posters, hold public meetings – councils must really go the extra mile.
Secondly, the people of Uckfield must respond – in droves. When the council says: Have your say, make sure you do.
We must all remember that these are consultations – not a decision making process. It is for the councils to make the decision. There’s no way they will please all of the people all of the time and once due process has been completed they should decide and get on with it.
Note: With regard to the town meeting, a 7pm start and all over soon after 7.30pm isn’t very helpful when you don’t work in Uckfield itself. Perhaps the “new council” will address that for next year.