At LoSW, we believe that the ‘public’ consultation should be halted and held at a later date to fix the apparent unfairness in the consultation process. Ideally, due to the large areas to be developed, a separate 1 month consultation should be held for each area currently under review.
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Failing that, the consultation should be extended by at least 2 months to give the local community a chance to view and analyse the document, so people can give better informed feedback on the proposals and have the opportunity to be consulted properly.
Why should the consultation be halted or extended?
We believe that each area should be given a separate consultation or a minimum extension of at least 2 months should be granted based on the following:
The plans available to download from the Fife Direct website are different from the plans held in the local office. The plans available in the local office gives more in-depth information on some of the areas to be redeveloped. Both online and offline documents should be exactly the same.We have been notified that users of the Microsoft Windows OS can view the full documentation and it is the same as the offline version. The 2 volunteers that have been going through the documentation have been using the MAC OS X operating system which did not allow the full content to be viewed without additional software. You can view the full explanation at: Amendment to the consultation
- Those without internet access can only be consulted through the local office. The local office is only open 2 days a week and they only have 1 copy of the plans, requiring the plans to be read there and then, and with over 90 pages this is completely impractical, and more than likely will not be read, or read in detail. Also, those that do not have internet access and need to view the documents in the local office, only get 8 days to do so.
- Both documents contain irrelevant data, making both documents unnecessary large and complicated
- Both documents stray from Government guidelines on accessibility and readability
- The consultation is being held at a time when the Community Council are on their break, therefore the Lochgelly community do not have any official local representation, other than the Lochgelly Community Development Forum
- The size of the development areas is too large for 1 consultation process. In fairness and transparency, each area to be developed should have it’s own separate consultation period (i.e., a 1 month consultation period for Area 1, a 1 month consultation period for area 2, etc.)
What you can do?
If you feel that the way the consultation is being handled is unfair and think it should be halted and launched at a later date, or, at the very least, should be extended, you can take some of the steps below (As a group, we are taking all the steps laid out below)
- Contact your local councillors, and let them know why you feel the consultation should be halted or extended.
- Contact your member of the Scottish Parliament.
- Contact members of the Scottish Parliament that represent the Fife Area
- Contact the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament
- Contact the MSP responsible for Cities Strategy at the Scottish Parliament
- Contact the Cowdenbeath Area Committee members (We’ve omitted members that are listed previously)
William L. Clarke
- Contact the Lochgelly Community council and request they hold a special meeting, and represent your views to Fife Council
Secretary: Christine McGrath
- Contact the Lochgelly Community Development Forum and ask them to represent your views.
- In case the consultation is not halted or extended, we advise you to fill out the questionnaires so at least your views on the development areas are put forward.
We will be carrying out all the steps above, and we request that if anyone agrees to our points on why the current consultation should be halted or extended, that you follow some (or all) of the steps above. If enough people write to complain about the consultation process and request the consultation to be extended, then it may happen. If your neighbours do not have internet access, please let them know of the consultation, the flaws in the process, and what they can do to try and halt or extend the consultation so it is handled fairly for all members of the local community and for better transparency.
We have been breaking up the document and publishing it online in an easier to use format, you can access these pages by clicking on the related posts below, or by clicking on an area in the map above for further info and links to the page containing the full text.
Please feel free to leave any feedback, request for info, or your comments below, thanks.