CONSULTATION: Is this a tick-box exercise?

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An open letter with reference to the Dissington consultation event.

We are writing as the four county councillors for Ponteland and the surrounding area in response to your invitation.

We are clear that this application does not have the support of the vast majority of the residents of our community.

There has been bitter experience over the last few years of the interference of the development company Lugano in our community. That company has sponsored so-called consultation events such as your proposed event before.

We do not feel that the community was listened to then and your event does not seem to be any different.

Unfortunately, it is the experience of many of the residents and representative groups in Ponteland that there appears to be a pre-determined plan that has potential to destroy the character of Ponteland.

In addition, we believe that consultations like this are undertaken merely as a ‘tick box’ exercise.

This view is confirmed by the arrangements of your proposed event. Not only have most residents not been invited, but there seems to be no consistency as to who has been selected for an invitation.

The venue at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, which has been booked as the site for your event, is inappropriate as a consultation location for our community for several reasons, the main one being that it is not at all accessible for many members of our community.

Furthermore, for an event targeting Ponteland the consultation event is not even being held in the parish of Ponteland. The location for this event is, in fact, within the boundaries of the City of Newcastle.

This informal consultation is not a part of any planning application and we can assure you that we do not feel that it is appropriate for us to attend.

Coun Peter Jackson

Coun Eileen Armstrong

Coun Richard Dodd

Coun Veronica Jones