Council and management group to hold talks over Droitwich Spa Neighbourhood Plan - The Droitwich Standard

Council and management group to hold talks over Droitwich Spa Neighbourhood Plan

Droitwich Editorial 1st Feb, 2019   0

THERE was a breakthrough in the stand-off over the Droitwich Neighbourhood Plan on Monday when town councillors agreed to meet members of the plan’s management group.

Criticism had been levelled at the council over the controversial meeting on September 24 when the press and public were excluded while members voted to suspend the NHP process.

Volunteer Mike Lambden, speaking on behalf of Droitwich Spa Neighbourhood Plan Working Group (DSNPWG), put several questions to members.

He asked – among other things – why the council felt there was insufficient funding for the project and how much taxpayers’ money had been spent by the town council so far.

“We have a major objection to the town council’s insistence the Neighbourhood Plan work should stop as we consider this unjustified.

“A significant number of people gave up their time, and in some cases money, to work on a Neighbourhood Plan over two-year period.

“You decided to suspend all work without consultation with the group and took a vote about the future of the plan at the meeting when the two town councillors nominated by you to lead the process, including Coun Richard Morris, were unable to attend or have their say.”

Coun Morris originally put forward the motion at a packed St Richards House in September 2016 and was supported by Coun Noyes, Coun Brookes and Coun Humphries who all spoke in the favour of the plan.

At the meeting on Monday Coun Morris said a holiday and family illness meant he could not be at the September meeting.

“I want the public to know, had I attended, I would have voted against the decision to suspend the Neighbourhood Plan.

“I felt personally hurt that the decision was taken while I was away.

“But we must now look forward and work together to make sure the work of the volunteers does not go to waste.

“Not only that, we must also be more transparent to make sure things like this do not happen again.”

Town council leader Coun Alex Sinton, said the public and the press were excluded on the clerk’s legal advice.

“It wasn’t a decision we took lightly.

“We decided to suspend the project due to its costs and the timescale provided to complete it.

“I think it’s extremely important we do move forward with this project the best we can and answer all of DSNPWG’s questions.

“The Neighbourhood Plan has essentially been Droitwich’s Brexit.”

A meeting between the DSNPWG and the councillors has been agreed but a date is yet to be set.


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