Council did not vote on blank piece of paper

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So, in relation to the Bakewell Road redevelopment, there is now no proposal, no plan - just a blank sheet of paper. ‘Curiouser and curiouser’ as Lewis Carroll might have seen it. No wonder the District Council spokesman opted to remain ‘unnamed’.

Much as I welcome the apparent chance for the wishes of the people of Matlock to make a real contribution to these important changes to the Town fabric, ‘Unnamed’s’ criticism of the calls made in this newspaper for openness and democracy is phoney.

If there was no plan or proposal what were the Councillors voting for? Certainly not a blank sheet of paper.

There was no opportunity for the public to contribute ideas for the redevelopment, other than the Supplementary Development Plan which was virtually ignored, or to make their own views known on the bids submitted. There was flagrant disregard for people requesting information all along the way.

A flawed process was conducted in an arrogant manner.

It produced a planning proposal that was announced as an agreed package with no reference to consultation and voted through ‘en bloc‘ by the Tory Councillors. The voices raised through these valuable letter pages have helped to alert people to the injustices and problems inherent in what was going on and have resulted in this apparent change of approach .

So, thank you ‘Matlock Mercury’. Now the process must be transparent and inclusive.

The proposed fresh start must be genuine and not a smokescreen behind which ‘done deals’ are hidden.

There are people in our community who are much better informed in ways of running such a consultation process than me and I suggest both Councillors and planners take good note of their contributions, so that the blank sheet of paper can be filled with ideas that will seize this exciting opportunity to take the Town forward.

John Tresadern