SHOCK NEWS: Local Council to listen to local people

Hot on the heels of the revelation over the prophetic powers of 80s popsters Spandau Ballet comes the news that Richmond Council will be holding a series of public consultations on the future of Twickenham. Starting from the assumption that it does indeed have one, and we sincerely hope it does, these sessions are designed provide locals with an opportunity to put forward ideas on regenerating the town. The word “regeneration” implies that a Dr Who like transformation is required to turn Twickenham into a city of the future but regardless of whether you think that is the case or just think that a measured evolution is needed or simply want to voice opinions on local issues such as Twickenham riverside, Regal House or the plans for Twickenham station then it could be an ideal opportunity to have your say.

The events are being described as “barefoot consultations”. Is this preferable to blue sky thinking or running ideas up flagpoles? Who can say. It’s certainly showing some thought leadership in these difficult times. The events are at York House (22nd & 23rd July) and the Civic Centre (24th July) and the ideas generated will form part of a Twickenham Conference later in the year (apparently). Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden will be judging all the entries to ensure that only the very best and the most stupidly embarrassing get through to the next round (apparently, not).

It seems like a sensible and relatively inexpensive idea but the key to any such event is managing expectations in advance, both for the level of involvement locals will actually have and on the parameters such as finances and timescales. Within that framework any sensible contributions need to be given, and seen to be given, proper consideration. Get it right and it could form a new kind of dialogue between locals and the Council, get it wrong and it gets remembered as the one-off event that people would rather forget. At the moment the Council are talking the talk, will the locals respond?

3 Comments

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3 responses to “SHOCK NEWS: Local Council to listen to local people

  1. Tele

    Chris – Mind you the Lib Dem plan wasn’t very exciting was it?

    My idea is that we hand the land to the Spanish nation as a gift for our occupation of Gibraltar. They would have to pay for any development and they would probably get an EU subsidy to do this. What with the Abbey being the Santander now, the process is half way there.

  2. There already are half a dozen schemes, some more worked up than others, one of which, from the Terrace Group, was submitted for planning permission [ref 09/0914/FUL] in April 209 and has so far only reached stage 3 [‘inform neighbours and consultees’]. What they all have in common is a complete lack of the funds to do the work.

    The Lib Dem administration decided that any scheme must ‘wash its hands’, i.e. pay for itself, when it became evident that the Environment Trust couldn’t fund its scheme from donations. The Conservative administration will have no spare funds for many years to come. As long as public opinion continues to veto any enabling development, nothing can happen: these meetings are just talk, which is cheap: they will satisfy the Tories’ manifesto promise but nothing will come of them.

  3. Tele

    What is the prize for the best entry?