Mercury Article: A slight pause on our Local Plan campaign, whilst the Council goes through all the responses

The Council’s consultation on its plans for local transport and homes has just closed. Don’t worry if you missed it, because there’s a second round due later this autumn. But a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who took part, particularly the thousand-plus who wrote in to agreed with me that it needs some crucial, vital changes.

This plan will define how our town and villages will look and feel for all of us to live in, for decades to come. If the Council gets it right there will be more homes at prices we can all afford, , our local wildlife habitats and scenery will be protected, the jams at J21 and the M5 will be eased, and we’ll become a greener and more sustainable community too.

But if they get it wrong, we’ll be condemned to expensive housing in soulless commuter dormitories, horrible traffic jams because the easiest way to work for most people will be by car, and concrete sprawl over precious green fields and wildlife habitats too.

So it really matters, which was why I was so pleased that so many of us took the trouble to sign up in support of the changes. The more of us who get involved, the better our chances of making sure the Council listens to what local people really think.  

There’s a slight pause now, while the Council goes through all the responses, before they publish an updated version of the plan. It’s going to be called ‘choices’, so we will know what they’re thinking and whether they’ve been listening at all, or whether they’ve got their fingers firmly in their ears. For what it’s worth, I’m hopeful that they’re listening. But only time will tell, so let’s see what they say.  And, remember, this is far from over –  so stand by!