Consultation: don’t do it like this (part 94)

The BBC is reporting that two schools in Peacehaven, near Brighton, are to merge despite 95% of responses to the consultation on the proposals being against. I’m assuming here that the consultation was a statutory box to tick, and that the decision had in practice been taken, and budgets set, rather than that the council joyously and deliberately going against the consultation results.

Whatever the background, how can we expect people to trust big processes like neighbourhood planning when they can’t trust small ones like this? Here, for posterity, are the words of the councillor unfortunate enough to have to defend the decision to go ahead:

It is very clear that many do not like our proposals to close these two schools and create a new primary in their place. However, while people raised very legitimate concerns and I can understand those concerns, I still believe these important plans are the right way forward for these schools and the pupils who attend them.

I hope that responses went to a freepost address, it would be a shame for people to have wasted the price of a stamp.


Published by Anthony Zacharzewski

Anthony Zacharzewski was one of the founders of Demsoc in 2006. Before starting work for Demsoc in 2010, he was a Whitehall civil servant and a local government officer.