Time to leap back into the present, to the pressing concerns of today.
Hands up who’s read the Local Plan Preferred Options main documents? I’ve been trying to, before the consultation period ends (on 31 July).
The main point is:
There’s not enough time
– for most of us to consider all this properly. I don’t believe it’s humanly possible to get to grips with all this in the time allotted for this consultation.
Perhaps that will have to be my only response submitted.
The main document is around 350 pages. It’s very interesting in parts, eye-opening on some matters, in other parts has confirmed the impressions I already had. I’ve only been able to read a fraction of the available information.
Of course I’ve perhaps been foolish in trying to read the information. Perhaps that’s a waste of time. I thought so originally, and for a time I was happy to trust in the work of greater minds than mine, and to trust our local authority to do the right thing. I wasn’t particularly sure what ‘the right thing’ was, but I thought I could trust them to know best.
Then I realised I wasn’t too comfortable with some of the attitudes to York behind this ‘vision’ for the city’s future. More on that later maybe.
Perhaps just as interesting as the thing itself is seeing the way it has been presented. Other people’s reactions to it, the reporting of it.
I feel like I’m watching the various parties fighting an election campaign. This has been the weirdest thing about it.
What I thought would be an intelligent and informed debate about the future of York has much of the time boiled down to the Tories being inflammatory about forests of wind farms on the one side, and on the other side, James Alexander showing off on Twitter when York and its imminent house-building explosion gets positive coverage.
Somewhere in there in the middle of it all there are a few people without a particular axe to grind who are doing their best to get relevant information out to residents and present important information on particular aspects they feel are missing from the Plan and its background papers. I’ve noticed, via Twitter, two people who appear to be doing that. (There will of course be other people doing similar, not on Twitter.)
It seems like we’re months away from even starting a reasonable debate, if ever, and yet the consultation period ends in two days time.
How to comment on the Draft Local Plan
There’s a load of information at york.gov.uk/localplan, including a form for comment here. Thankfully it’s just big open accommodating text boxes rather than one of those tedious ‘how satisfied are you, from 1 to 10′ formats. Or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org