It’s been revealed that the Labour-run Penarth Town Council’s much-vaunted “Your Future, Your Say” public consultation is likely to elicit a total of only 200 responses – if that.
The ambitious “Your Future, Your Say” public consultation questionnaire was issued on July 3rd 2018 with the strap-line “A Vision for Penarth” – but seems to have evoked very little response, or indeed interest, from local residents .
This week’s meeting of Penarth Town Council’s community engagement committee was told that Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines) and Cllr Kathryn McCaffer (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had distributed consultation questionnaires around several shops in the town and that Cllr Murphy had interviewed people out on the street who had responded positively.
However councillors were also informed that it had been hard to persuade people to attend “coffee mornings” about the “Your Future, Your Say” consultation – but officers were now attenpting to get consultation questionnaire forms distributed within “networks” in Penarth [ i.e. organisations like lunch-clubs, societies, voluntary groups, Brownies, Scouts and Guides”] and a “large meeting” had been held with “Cytun” – the council of churches in Penarth.
Council officers had also tried to persuade local doctors’ surgeries to stock “Your Future, Your Say” consultation questionnaire forms in their waiting rooms – but had found that doctors were “not keen”.
Officers also told councillors attending the committee meeting that it was always difficult with consultations because “people like to complain about particular things”.
Committee members were told that “In terms of actual returned responses we don’t go over 200 I don’t think, but in terms of the engagement you can build on that it will be a wider reach”
Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) said 200 responses was very much better level of response than that which had been garnered for the council’s “Town Place Plan”.
[ PDN Note- The ill-fated Penarth “Town Place Plan” was an unsuccessful public consultation launched by Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) as Leader of the Council in 2013. It was a costly initiative involving consultants specially hired-in from Bristol which ran into the sand and came to nothing.]
Possibly stung by Cllr Turner’s unfavourable comparison, Cllr Cuddy swiftly defended his abortive “Town Place Plan” .
He said the “Town Place Plan” had actually received what he described as “widespread engagement with the organisations” .
Cllr Turner however rubbed salt in the wound by saying that only about 100 people had attended Cllr Cuddy’s “Town Place Plan” public meeting [held in the Paget Rooms in 2013]. Therefore – considering Penarth’s population was around 25,000 people – 200 responses to the current “Your Say, Your Future” consultation was an improvement on that.
The public consultation/ survey called “Your Future Your Say“ was originally reported by PDN on June 7th 2018 on https://tinyurl.com/y7e6htph.
The on-line consultation itself is on the Penarth Town Council website on https://www.penarthtowncouncil.gov.uk/
The Your Future Your Say consultation will close on October 3rd 2018.