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Saving our forests is seeing the wood for the trees

Cradle Lane

Kingsley BOAT 29, Headley BOAT 36, Proposed TRO EIR Request

Maureen Comber

Maureen Comber writes to Chris Rigden, Acting Chairman, Kingsley Parish Council

Kingsley Parish Council's letter to residents is dated 2nd February 2012 whereas these decisions were made on the meeting of 9th January 2012. The email from HCC arrived on 25th January 2012. The local residents had therefore..... not been consulted........ with regard to either the preferred option or the proposed monitoring,......... before HCC emailed its intentions.

Says Maureen Comber

Says Maureen Comber Dear Chris,

Trying to work together is exactly what I have been seeking to do since I received information of the decision from HCC. I have not as far as I am aware published any derogatory comments about KPC. Please be specific if you believe that to be the case. On the other hand I have asked many questions and have not had replies to them. If the trouble had been taken to address them, I am sure you would have found them helpful and informative.

You know that I did eventually receive the Minutes of the meeting of 9th January and you also know they raised more questions than answers. I will address these shortly, but first respond to your email below which was sent by you to Mrs Haw and myself. As she had replied to you, I was going to leave it at that, but as you insist I will respond also.

I forwarded the comment from Mrs, as surely KPC was its intended destination? I remarked on the lack of the possibility of any surveillance by the Parish Council. I see that actually you are in agreement with that sentiment as you state rather more strongly "The suggestion that parish councillors can be at Cradle Lane all the time to monitor the situation is ludicrous." In which case I have to ask why the email from HCC says, 'At the meeting it was agreed that Option 3 (above) would be an acceptable solution to all those present. ' and the minutes state:

A monitoring team be created (ideally consisting of representatives of the local Parish Councils) to record the impact of vehicular use on the route, and to record any incidents of irresponsible/unlawful use (reporting matters to the police if necessary)

Following discussion, this proposal was met with general approval by those present??"

Kingsley Parish Council's letter to residents is dated 2nd February 2012 whereas these decisions were made on the meeting of 9th January 2012. The email from HCC arrived on 25th January 2012. The local residents had therefore not been consulted with regard to either the preferred option or the proposed monitoring, before HCC emailed its intentions.

Despite this, in your email below it appears a gun is being held to the head of local residents by saying: "If the local residents do not want to help in this way and expect to rely just on parish councillor monitoring then I'm afraid the list of incidents will be a bit thin". The pity of it is that had they been consulted, they would have been able to say that they have had to live with an unacceptable situation as regards the use of all motor vehicles on Cradle Lane for far too long already and therefore the warning was already in place. No further monitoring is necessary

With regard to the minutes of 9th January 2012 I would like you to enquire why it was necessary for HCC to:

Send four of their officers to address a meeting to which they admittedly limited the number "We chose to invite only a small group of people who were representative of their communities - given the interest in the route, we were concerned that to widen the attendance might mean that so many people would want to attend that the meeting would become unmanageable. " when I see that it was held at Kingsley Village Center rather than the site and could therefore accommodate a reasonable number of the public. Given acknowledgement of the interest likely to be shown, why were Binsted Parish Council not invited?

I also note that Patrick Manuel from HCAF was also in attendance. Although not a problem in itself, his profile says that he represents 'motor vehicles' on the HCAF, so the reference to a "small group of people who were representative of their communities" was dismally misleading when the attendance list shows four officers of HCC and two County Councillors,three motorists and four parish councillors from Headley and Kingsley, the latter two being the only members of KPC to know the meeting was taking place!

It almost suggests to the community that thrift is not a requirement for HCC. The HCAF although I am sure it has much to offer in the way of advice, is not an elected body and somewhat out of place in this particular circumstance.

It is also interesting to note that the three options given in the advisory email from HCC do not match the three given in the minutes of the meeting of 9th January 2012!

I would like to suggest that as you do not appear to be finding my correspondence helpful, you seriously consider putting the whole matter on the Agenda for the next KPC meeting so that local people are given an opportunity to speak for themselves. Although their opinion has now been sought it seems that their pleas are falling on fallow ground because their comments are being taken personally rather than impartially.

Finally I would like to reassure you that it has never been my intention to make any assertions with regard to Kingsley Parish Council, on the contrary I know how committed they are to benefit the local community.

I do however reserve my right as a member of that community to speak up if I consider it to be necessary.

I pine for a more sensible approach to saving our forests

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