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CNAA letter to SADC regarding River Ver plans


This message was sent on 9th July behalf of CNAA Chairman, Keith Reynolds, representing all members of CNAA. Dan Flitton is the Green Spaces Officer for the district council.

While we have written on your behalf, should any of the points strike a chord with you, your individual letters or emails will add weight to our argument. daniel.flitton@stalbans.gov.uk

Dear Dan,

Plotholders on Cottonmill and Nunnery allotments affected by the River Ver Improvement Project have received an invitation to attend a drop-in information event on 12 July 2018. Whilst CNAA welcomes an opportunity to talk with your team at this meeting we wish to record a number of observations and to set out the information we are seeking.

  • We are concerned that yet again this meeting is not inclusive as many people will be unable to attend on this single date between the times stated in your letter. In CNAA's letter to your team of 22nd April 2018 and to which you replied on 2nd May, we expressed concern in points 2a and 2b of our letter that the previous meeting, which had a restricted invitation list and offered only 8 hours on one date was a hurdle to engagement. As the arrangements for the meeting on 12th July offer only 5 hours of contact time you have disregarded our concern. Has an invitation to this meeting been sent to a wider range of interested parties than previously? We have reports of people taking annual leave to be able to attend such is their concern about this issue. Will you be making information from this meeting available to all of those invited who cannot attend? Some of our members who cannot attend the meeting on 12th July want to know who will be present to provide information on behalf of the Partners in the Project. You have indicated further opportunities for engagement would be available and we are asking that these offer more extended contact time, over a longer period of time and are open to a wider range of interested parties. We would hope that as this Project progresses there will be an opportunity to take the debate further with a panel of Partners and at a truly open meeting.

  • In our letter of 22nd April we asked for clarification on formal consultation and your reply was that an engagement plan would be published on SADC's website, which at the time of writing has not yet appeared, and then details of the formal consultation process would follow. We consider this to be a very important opportunity for us to be involved in the Project and CNAA is expecting to be given access to these process details as soon as they are available.

  • The SADC website has given some feedback on the survey that was opened on its website, can you provide more detailed analysis as we find the results as published a bit surprising. We find the total number of respondents given as 200 to be low and also wonder how, from such a range of questions covering diverse issues that a general statement of satisfaction can be concluded. We would be grateful to see the analysis broken down at the level of each of the Reaches. Can you provide this at the meeting on the 12th July?

  • CNAA is concerned that it does not have access to sufficient information regarding the data that this project is reliant on, particularly in terms of the groundwater level modelling and baseline wildlife surveys. We would like your assurance that the latest groundwater level modelling will be available to us and that you will provide us with baseline wildlife survey results.

  • Your letter of 2nd May explains that the results of the main survey would inform the detailed design phase for this project. Have you also included views expressed in the questionnaire issued to allotment holders at the 21st March meeting? Can you indicate when the detailed design will be available for inspection and confirm that it will be fully costed.

  • Waiting list closure at the Cottonmill, Sopwell and Nunnery sites remains a major concern to CNAA as set out in a detailed email sent to Phil Bruce-Green by CNAA Chairman, Keith Reynolds in May, to which CNAA has not had a reply. CNAA considers this to be a serious matter as it is artificially depressing the demand for allotments in this area that SADC is charged, under law, with addressing.

Janet Wyatt

CNAA Secretary

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