Jennie & I have had some good feedback as we door knocked houses in Black Forest this afternoon, both supporting the proposed changes and against them. The most usual response we got however was it is a waste time responding.
My response to this is it is not a waste of time if the worst thing that happens is the proposed changes get accepted as they are.
Yes ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen if I do respond to the survey. If the answer is the worst thing is they ignore me then so be it. But what if I don’t say anything. Then you can be assured that nothing will change.
For your benefit consider this process:
The council officers who have done the hard yards on developing the plan may be influenced by what you have to say. At the very least boundaries between zones could possibly be changed. They in turn will report to the Development, Planning and Policy Committee who will hear public representations.
This group is made up of three elected members including myself and three independent members. They can and will be influenced by representations, particularly those who are followed up in person at the public meeting held by this committee.
Council, that is all elected members, will consider the plan as it develops.
Finally it will go to the Minister for Planning, John Rau, who gets the final say. And make no mistake he is not going to pay any attention to what elected members have to say if their comments are not backed up by what the public has to say, and that has to be in writing. Our comments will only hold water if they are representing what you have said.
So remember, if you say nothing no concessions will be made. If you have something to say the worst thing is that the Minister does not concede anything. But he might, IF YOU DO have something to say, but only if you do.