Can’t have your cake and eat it?

You may have guessed that I am a firm believer in keeping people informed. As Chairman of the Parking Panel I have led by example. Namely, making sure people are kept informed on the process of the car-parking review.
It’s not been an easy task in doing this review. I guess it’s like being the England football manager in that everyone has a view on what’s the best line up. The Panel and my roles are making sure we come up with something that is workable from all those views. On the 6th October the Panel meets to finalise the work carried out before it is put out to the public for their views. After that, it comes back to the Panel for its final recommendation to Cabinet.
It’s often cited that backbench Members are kept in the dark. Only the other day I myself complained on my blog. So I made sure that I did not fall foul of not consulting. For one, my Panel has always been open to non-members to attend. Sadly again not many have, but those who did, I made sure they could put their views across.
The other way I did this was by a short questionnaire on the latest recommendation that the Panel had made before it goes out for public consultation. I wanted Members to have a say. It would give the Panel an indication if they were in support of these recommendations or not.
Out of 123 Members that are currently elected to Cornwall Council only 64 of those Members did reply by the closing date. The list is (HERE). 4 others also replied, but their responses came after the date for submission. So let’s be fair and say 68 did bother to reply. I am sure there were others lost in the post. Is this good that only 55.28% of elected members replied to a very important and emotive issue? I have the full list of who said what on the questionnaire/letters. Sure many did not agree with the current proposals, or sent in detailed responses. I am pleased people did. I would rather have that, then no reply.
My point is how can Members complain about not being kept informed, as when they are asked for their views and points, just under half don’t reply. Maybe one reason is that they are so happy with the Panels work they don’t need to reply as they trust the Panel to do the work right.
I have to say when you are asked for your comments please, please reply, as one day they might feel they don’t have to consult. 

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