The results of the Littlehampton neighbourhood plan vote were as expected. The percentage of residents who voted was also as expected, 16 per cent, very low.
There must be a way of encouraging people to take more of an interest. I suspect one way is more publicity. The leaflet drop, yes, but a lot of people recycle leaflets before reading, or just ignore them. There were articles in this paper, but not everybody sees them.
The consensus of opinion appears to be that it’s not worth trying to oppose Arun District Council, therefore, anything Littlehampton Town Council says, as it has very little real power, is not important. I know that the Localism Act is supposed to change this, a little, but there are always ways of ignoring or employing clouding tactics.
There must be better ways of engaging local residents. Having a Littlehampton Arun cabinet member might be a start, changing back to the committee system would be another. Big posters, not mini ones in the dull-looking notice boards could attract attention.
Many people just did not know the referendum was happening. Head in the sand, maybe, but we need to change this situation. Arun will probably say Littlehampton just doesn’t care.
The town council, especially the officials and others, have put in so much very hard work into the neighbourhood plan, it deserved more. There are elections, but it appears to be very difficult to change any status quo.
Any ideas, please forward to the town council.
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