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Letter: Consultation emails Were Not Rejected – No Intention to Curtail Representations

Published on: 24 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 24 Sep, 2014
Cllr Spooner, lead councillor for licensing and governance

Cllr Spooner, lead councillor for licensing and governance

From Paul Spooner

Lead councillor for licensing and governance at Guildford Borough Council (GBC)

I thank The Guildford Dragon NEWS for their coverage of this story [extension of the Draft Local Plan consultation period] and I believe the situation has been clarified through Guildford BC PR release 3246 circulated late yesterday afternoon [announcing the extension to 2359hrs, Friday September 26].

Whilst it is unfortunate that the email auto-response to submissions via the GBC email portal set up for Monday evening after 5pm through to yesterday afternoon stated that the consultation had closed the emails were not actually ‘rejected’ and all are in the GBC Local Plan system, in the same way that all submissions were received during the 12 week consultation period.

I stated on social media on Monday evening (following representations by Mrs Susan Parker [Guildford Greenbelt Group]) that I would ensure that no one would be disenfranchised from the process due to the 5pm v 11.59pm contradictory times published and I am satisfied that this is the case, as all submissions actually made to the GBC Local Plan email portal have been received. But we have also gone further by extending the consultation period until 23.59 on Friday.

There is absolutely no reason why GBC Councillors or Officers would wish to curtail any representations in relation to the Draft Local Plan strategy and sites consultation. Please remember that we significantly extended the statutory requirement for public consultation to 12 weeks to support the process.

I trust that the further extension to 23.59 on Friday 26 September enables even more people to engage in the consultation process.

Cllr Mansbridge’s statement this morning further clarifies the position in relation to the wider local plan process on behalf of the Conservative Group at GBC.

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Responses to Letter: Consultation emails Were Not Rejected – No Intention to Curtail Representations

  1. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    First bit of the article states extension to 2359hrs Friday September 23 but then correctly says Friday 26 later on. I think it’s all clarified.

    We apologise for this error. Many thanks for pointing it out. It has now been corrected. The correct deadline is Friday, September 26 at 2359hrs. Ed.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    It is good to have this clarification on such an emotive issue.

    We always need to avoid spoonerisms.

  3. Roland McKinney Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I received an email this morning at 10.02 am from Cllr Spooner telling me that my submission will be considered, that it had been received.

    Wouldn’t it all have been so much simpler if that had been done yesterday (Tuesday) morning for those who had emailed after the 5.00 pm “deadline”?

    Nevertheless, it’s good that the correct thing has been done. But the attack last night on Susan Parker by Cllr Spooner was unbecoming and decidedly confrontational. No need for that at all. It is one of the reasons why respect for council members is fast evaporating. This is actually very sad, given that some are trying to serve their residents interests.

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