We have commented before on Cherwell District Council's simple on-line consultation on Vision for Bicester and now we would like to draw attention to the consortium behind this development in Oxfordshire. N W Bicester is led by P3Eco and includes some names like Barton Wilmore already well-known in Norfolk however it is their consultation which is of interest.
Their website includes another on-line consultation and it is aimed at local people - people who live and work in the local area. People who complete the questionnaire are asked to say where they live and, as well as Bicester itself, there is a drop down list of local villages: Caversfield, Bucknell, Launton, Middleton Stoney and Ardley with Fewcott. A quick look at a map shows that these villages are all close to Bicester itself and without local knowledge one might reasonably assume that these are the villages that will be most affected by the proposed development. This consultation seems to make sense and seems to be asking the right people to feedback their comments.
Why then does Broadland District Council produce a 38 page booklet which was distributed at Rackheath Fun Day to anyone who wandered into their tent. Although they ask for a name and address this is not compulsory so there is no way of telling whether the people who respond live or work anywhere near the proposed development at Rackheath. Presumably anyone can fill in the questionnaire and return it and there is no way of telling whether they have responded before - hardly a very scientific piece of research and the results will therefore be meaningless. We would never wish to cast aspersions on our local council or anyone else for that matter but it is just possible that they could fill in these questionnaires themselves if they so wished...
The results will be meaningless so why have they wasted time and money on this process? Oh yes, we forgot, this is their way of consulting local people!