Consultations make sure the voices of the people are heard

REGARDING the Letter in the Dispatch two weeks ago from M.A.McCormick, headed ‘Why Bother With Referendums And Public Consultations?’.

The answer is because we in office need to be open, transparent and accountable. We are here to represent your views and opinions.

People do have a voice and it should be heard. The alternative is to accept your lot without question or comment.

The Hucknall North ward consultation that Mr McCormick refers to has come about after the local branch of the Labour party promised in our election manifesto back in April/May to consult with residents on the big issues we face in Hucknall if we got elected.

Well, we were elected and we are fulfilling our promise to consult. So I have delivered a consultation with two questions most pertinent to the people in my ward. To raise awareness and to let people have their say. Not just on those two questions but also on anything that may concern them.

I have to balance my own views with the facts and information that I gain from being in office alongside the views and concerns of the residents, which I want to hear. Having consulted, I intend to listen to what people are saying and act upon their wishes.

We could face thousands of houses being built by other authorities on our boundaries. I can, of course, guess what people think about that. But hard evidence makes the argument stronger and cannot be ignored.

On the inner bypass issue, residents told me and other councillors in other political parties that although the proposal is well-known locally, the actual consultation to date has been sketchy.

There is nothing sinister about consulting people, and you have to be prepared to sometimes not get the response that you may have expected.

On a political level, a long standing MP once told me you are useless without the people behind you. It is their voice that matters. It is those people that elect you on your record of representing their interests. Ignore them at your peril.

Many thanks to the hundreds of people who have supported this initiative by returning the paper back to me and sharing their views and opinions.

I will take this opportunity to wish the residents of Hucknall a happy festive Christmas and New Year.

COUN IAN MORRISON (Lab),

Hucknall North ward,

Ashfield District Council.