At the beginning of this year two consultations were being run by Torbay Council, one regarding the Local Plan housing numbers and the other regarding the proposed Preston Down Road development.
I asked the Cabinet to provide me with the results of these two consultations which concluded on 28 February. This is the response I received:
The consultation team does not always produce reports which detail the results of consultations as, in some cases, it is more effective for the raw data to be provided to the service requesting the consultation. The details of the outcomes from the consultation will then be included in the reports prepared for the decision on the scheme to be taken.
This has been the case in both of the consultations to which you refer. In the case of the Local Plan housing numbers I understand that a report is due to be presented to the Cabinet in July 2022. In respect of Preston Down Road, the consultation results have been provided to TDA but I have not had a response from the Project Manager on the latest position.
It is my belief that all participants in a consultation are entitled to, and should be provided with, feedback within a reasonable amount of time. To quote from our Community Engagement Strategy around our commitment to keeping our communities informed (page 7) “We will be open and honest and timely in our communication.” And page 9 “Provide feedback to communities and organisations outlining how their contributions have influenced decisions made by the Council and what has changed or improved as a result.”
I have been told that Planning and Housing is the number one priority of this Council, yet a report takes more than 4 months to complete.
The Community Engagement Strategy page 9 also states “We will ensure that our communities and stakeholders are involved in the decision making process and are given the opportunity to help find solutions through high quality, appropriately targeted consultation and engagement.” There has been some concern regarding the quality of our consultations, particularly around the lack of appropriate information and the closed questions. Perhaps some feedback as to how our consultations fit with our strategy statements might be appropriate?
If members of our community wish to comment or request feedback it might be appropriate for them to direct their correspondence to members of the Cabinet.
Last Updated: Monday 20 June 2022