County council again fails Uckfield when it comes to consultation, says Observer

Independent columnist flays East Sussex County Council over the way it consults with people in Uckfield, “stands corrected” over Uckfield’s history and poses a question about Remembrance Sunday.

It’s time someone told East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council that consultation with residents is more than a tick-box exercise.

They seem to be satisfied with holding events in Uckfield which almost seem designed to discourage attendance by working people.

The latest is over the county waste plan, which includes the possibility of an incinerator at Ridgewood Farm, although the council seems unable to bring itself to say the I word.

It is being held on November 25 between 10am and 2pm at Uckfield Public Library. Just four hours in the middle of the day have been allocated and that’s totally useless. Oh, and don’t speak with a loud voice – it’s a library, after all.

I suppose the county council will be able to tell any public inquiry that an event was held in Uckfield.

Let’s hope someone throws down a challenge and tells East Sussex that what they did was just not good enough and they should take their waste plan back and start a proper consultation with residents.

Wealden District Council pulled a similar stunt by wrapping up their consultation event on the next Local Plan long before most workers or commuters were home.

Here’s what I said at the end of last month about that.

No wonder when anyone mentions “the council” in the Dog and Duck there is a chorus of derision all round.

That’s because people are being ignored (town council generally an honourable exception).

You would have thought East Sussex would have learned after the limited consultation for Phase One of the High Street roadworks.

I warned them at the time that what they were doing was not good enough and a mistake.

Uproar followed once the works started and that was no surprise to me because the county council had failed to engage properly with people.

Uckfield’s history

Observer stands corrected when it comes to the history of Uckfield. I was put squarely in my place by Mick Harker from the preservation society after last Saturday’s article.

His response certainly opened my eyes to what we have in Uckfield and I look forward to seeing the completion of Bridge Cottage which will help residents understand more about the town’s history.

In my defence, I was thinking of Lewes with its castle and priory ruins when I made my comments about the lack of history in Uckfield.

However, we are all that bit wiser as a result of my blunder and I suspect Mr Harker and myself are very much on the same side when it comes to protecting and preserving Uckfield’s history.

Also, congratulations all round for the effort in rescuing the Cardale Monument from obscurity.

REMEMBRANCE: As always, the Remembrance events in Uckfield are well organised and moving and a fitting tribute to the Fallen. Just a thought: why is the Uckfield Remembrance Sunday event always in the afternoon?

Would it not be possible for it to be held so we can have the silence at 11am, along with much of the rest of the country?

See also:

Uckfield Remembers the Fallen

Remembering brave World War 2 pilot

Children at Armistice Day event



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