LETTER: Council did try to engage
I was very disappointed to find that David Hollis (letters 27/10/16) did not find the consultation in respect of the proposed highways improvements in Felpham to be satisfactory.
However, having read his letter I must challenge the allegations made by him.
The West Sussex County Council principal engineer in charge of the current schemes went to great lengths to ensure that the public consultation was conducted in a way that would engage with as many of the residents in Felpham as it could.
At the drop-in event held in the Memorial Hall 150 people attended. Prior to the drop-in session 4,850 postcards were sent out to properties in Felpham giving them details as to how they could access information and notice of the drop-in event organised. Five banners were put up in the village. There was weekly advertising in the local press in the run-up to the event to include free papers and a local church publication.
The information is on the Felpham Parish Council website for all to see with a link to the Felpham Conservation site.
When the call centre is contacted paper copies of the consultation documents are sent out to those who supply their names and addresses. This is to ensure those without internet access were fed with the information. There is also a translation service available to those whom English is not their first language.
The principal engineer tried to encourage responses from younger members of the community as they are predominately pedestrians and cyclists. He did ask for help from local schools and youth groups.
I do find it unfair to aim these criticisms at the county council when it is clear the consultation was carried out thoroughly and I do hope that David Hollis reflects on this.
West Sussex County Councillor for Felpham