Who are making the decisions about the Alton regeneration?
This is a follow up of the article “Alton Masterplan Consultation – does anyone else have the feeling that there is something wrong with this process?”.
The question of which groups and which individuals make the decisions about the Alton regeneration have lingered for some time over this project. We are not sure whether anyone outside of the Council is actually fully aware of how this decision making process works. From conversations with residents it is clear to date that no one can explain they know overall structure and identify many of the key people whom they would like to speak with.
To try and answer these questions we have been digging around various web pages and articles to see who these various organisations and individuals are.
First, we had a look at the Minutes of the “Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee”, which we directed to by the Economic Development Officer of the Economic Development Office at the Wandsworth Borough Council.
From there, there was one document which provided some background, this being 13-242 from the Wednesday 24th 2013 meeting.
Finally, we could start to try and understand who the key groups and people are (if this structure is approved and current). Pages 13 to 16 provide a “proposal” as to what this structure should be, with page 16 highlighting the structure of the decision making process as a diagram.
All of the groups interest us, though three especially jump out at us by virtue of them having the name “Roehampton” within the title. These being “Roehampton Forum”, “Roehampton Trust” and the “Roehampton Partnership”.
To this end we’ve been asking queries of the Council to try and explain who these people and groups are, though to date the response has been on the vague side. We have started asking the Council regarding this, and we haven’t finished this process, though thought it was worthwhile sharing the progress to date.
Unfortunately, there is little on the internet that a resident can locate to understand this process. This is bearing in mind that the Council has previously informed us that the Wandsworth Borough has such a high internet usage as per the following text received on the 7th April;
“In the 2013 Wandsworth residents survey the researcher’s report cites “only one in nine (11%) Wandsworth residents never access the Internet. By far the most common response among residents is that they access the internet daily (80%). ONS statistics suggest that internet use in Wandsworth is above the UK average of 73% daily use amongst the 16+ and 15% that never use it.”
Why do we need to know the structure?
The main reason is that the ‘Advisory’ group, that is the ‘Roehampton Partnership’, have input into the decision making process. Sadly, it looks as though this process is not working very well. Let us explain using the following timeline.
Saturday 1st March – Council’s Preferred Option Open Day
The Council held a Preferred Option Day regarding the preferred masterplan option.
Friday March 7th – Roehampton Forum meeting
At the May 15th Roehampton Forum the draft minutes of the March 7th meeting were shared. Interestingly, top of page 3 states “Jeremy Ambache reported that he had obtained a copy of the interim report on the consultation”.
We know that Councillor Carpenter was there too, as he was referred to as well within the same paragraph.
At the bottom of page 2, the Minutes state that that “the Chair seconded by the Secretary proposed that the Forum make a formal response to the consultation document. This was agreed overwhelmingly”.
Friday 4th April – Forum letter to the Council
The Forum sent a letter to the Council regarding its views on the preferred masterplan.
Questions that need to be considered
It has been shown previously in this blog that the audit trail from options, interim report to preferred option is lacking. Labour had two chances to highlight this at the Forum. The first at the Forum at March 7th, and then again before the Forum sent its April 4th letter to the Council.
With this being the case, that means either Labour did not thoroughly review the transition through the various stages, or, if it did so, then declined the opportunity to highlight this document to the Forum in any detail.
You would think that someone, somewhere in the process would highlight the Preferred Masterplan Option does not reflect the Interim Consultation very well. Yet, at the moment, it’s the residents that are reviewing these documents and asking the questions.
What to do if you have concerns about anything to do with the Consultation.
This will be updated with Jeremy Ambache and Sue McKinney when their emails addresses become available.
Please do copy us in at firstname.lastname@example.org as we’d love to see how this ‘consultation’ progresses and what concerns the residents of the estate. Or email us separately. We are going to share some of the feedback we’ve had soon.