Monday, 6 July 2015

Public meeting to address District Council's beach huts >>> Sidmouth: Tuesday 7th July

Tomorrow evening, the Vision Group will be hosting a public meeting on the District Council's proposals for its beach huts:
Futures Forum: The future of East Devon's beach huts >> public meeting >>> Sidmouth Tuesday 7th July

The issue has been very much in the public eye:
SIDMOUTH: Public meeting to be held on beach hut auction controversy - View from Sidmouth
Anger over beach hut bidding wars - News - Exmouth Journal
SEATON: Beach hut auction plan still on the cards - View from Sidmouth
Uproar over Exmouth beach huts: East Devon District Council slammed over "auction" plan | Exeter Express and Echo
Families fear losing Devon beach huts after generations | West Country (W) - ITV News
Sold: East Devon bid auction sparks fierce bidding war | Exeter Express and Echo

Here is the latest comment from the East Devon Watch blog:


3 JUL 2015

Beach huts consultation May 2015 online

How DO you reduce the negative impact of taking beach huts off people and selling them to the highest bidder? Answers to that question will be interesting!

And what would you rather have – a secret auction for taking them away or an open one? What do you prefer: the rock or the hard place?

And then, with waiting lists being so long they ask people if they would like to be added to them! So that they can justify this by saying they have even longer waiting lists because they proactively asked people who might never have thought of it to join one!

According to the Save the Beach Huts Facebook page this survey is costing upwards of £1000 (plus, of course, officer time, which is never costed).

One thought on “Beach huts: is this EDDC’s most biased consultation yet?”

Tim says:
3 Jul 2015 at 4:35pm

Not only is this a totally invalid methodology, (its use the self-selection method for respondents), it is arranged and worded in an appallingly inept mamner. But that is the EDDC way of doing things.

Paying a firm to come up with this rubbish is a furter waste of public funds.
The consultation should be about what means leases are given, not which method of bidding is preferred.

Councillor Moulding- you moaned about a survey in Axminster being nothing like a consultation but more of a post decision notification- what have you to say about this- or has it all been sorted out down the lodge?

Mark Hawkins says:
4 Jul 2015 at 8:29am

It’s no more biased than the Exmouth Masterplan consultation of 2011, but with that there was either a 57 page document or a leaflet on which to base responses. With each form having different maps! The 57 page document contained some highly questionable language describing the existing facilities.

When I asked among other things who had chosen the word “underperforming” to describe the existing families area businesses I was referred by an EDDC minion to the consultants, who referred me back to Donna Best. 3 emails went unanswered so my questions were submitted in an FoI, unfortunately before I was aware of What Do They Know, though I still have the emails. Apparently Donna Best was too busy to answer her own emails then, and they must have been lost by temps! The FoI was shoddily answered and the discussion went as far as Mark Williams and Richard Cohen. The response was improved but still woefully inadequate but Mr Cohen insisted it had been answered in full. Despite me demonstrating that this was not true he insisted on holding his position. The monitors won’t let me use the ‘l’ word, but he was happy to maintain a statement he knew not to be true. 

Those events showed me just how much respect Cohen and Best are due, and it is a sad reflection on EDDC that people like this are employed there. But of course it is because they are like this that they are employed. Just as with our town champions, we can’t have important officers who are likely to ‘go native’ and sympathise with the residents, can we.

Beach huts: is this EDDC’s most biased consultation yet? | East Devon Watch

See also:
Mark Hawkins - Freedom of Information requests - WhatDoTheyKnow

The issue will be on the agenda of the District Council's Scrutiny Cttee:
Beach hut scrutiny | East Devon Alliance
Scrutiny Committee - East Devon

No comments: