2015 March: Letter To SMDC Regarding Implementation of
the Statement of Community Involvement.
Simon Baker (Chief Exec)
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council 10th March 2015
‘Statement of Community Involvement’
Dear Simon Baker,
CC Sir Bill Cash MP, the Department for Communities & Local Government, Cheadle Town Council, Cheadle Together Action Groups, Press, CoVoP.
We are writing to you on a matter of serious concern.
Regarding the Statement of Community Involvement email sent out by SMDC last Thursday (5th March 2015, copied below) detailing adoption of a Statement of Community Involvement on 10th Dec 2014 (apparently 1 day before Sir Bill Cash MP presented a petition for residents of Cheadle in the House of Commons).
Cheadle Unite Submitted a response to the ‘Consultation on the Draft Statement of Community Involvement’ (13th February 2014) which was electronically acknowledged on the 27th April 2014.
We have not received notification that our response (dated 27th April 2014, attached for reference) has been processed (Valid) or Classed as Inadmissible as per your automated email response on 27th April 2014 which states:
You will be notified when your comment has been confirmed as processed (valid) or when it has been classed as inadmissible.
Further we have not had any draft of the Statement circulated for comments or any correspondence regarding our comments.
When will we receive these?
Only last Thursday (5th March) did we receive notification via email detailing so called adoption of the strategy, apparently back in December 10th 2014 (this adopted document was only loaded onto your web page on the 5th March).
The Adoption Statement attached to the email detailing the High Court as the process for any person aggrieved by the Statement of Community Involvement along with deadline dates that are now well advanced are not conducive with a District Council that wishes to work positively with the community. The document detailed on your website links to a ‘Final Statement of Community Involvement’.
We do not consider this to be an open and transparent and effective engagement with the community on a Framework for future community Involvement.
It will take time to assess the document sent out last week on the 5th March 2015 however on a first pass, the scope is too restrictive and does not incorporate our comments.
Can you clarify when and how the adoption was minuted and has been disseminated. Further how it has been implemented since the 10th of December for example for Residents around Brookhouses and Cheadle East (Thorley Drive) regarding planning applications in those areas.
As this is a framework structure for future collaboration, we hope you agree that it requires an even higher level of consultation and probity than is the norm if you are to rely on this as a basis for responses to local residents, action groups and other interested parties.
If you have not incorporated the comments we have made and consider the document to be sound, then by default SMDC do not identify with the ‘Statement of Community Involvement’ as the appropriate mechanism for making those requests. Please clarify your position on this.
In our interpretation the process by which the Final Statement of Community Involvement was adopted is not appropriate and its contents do not go far enough, for example in accountability and inclusion of local residents and wider regeneration issues as per our response and an effective National Planning Policy.
Please clarify by return the status of our comments regarding the policy as was indicated would happen in the automated response, with details on the decisions made.
Further we request clarification of the process of continuing improvement regarding the Statement of Community Involvement and by what mechanism and timescale you allow changes to the Statement of Community Involvement of the scope detailed in our response.
1320 Houses/Dwellings Still Planned for Cheadle250 Houses In Cheadle North East Brookhouses Development already approved
26%+ Swell in Our Population Planned in 12 years 441 In Urban Sites Around Cheadle 200 Properties on Small Urban Extensions