EAST Renfrewshire’s latest consultation has been dismissed as a case of history repeating itself.
Leader of the opposition Gordon Wallace, councillor for Giffnock and Thornliebank, has slammed the council for what he says is making the same mistakes in its local development consultation as were made during the main issues report consultation last year.
Both reports will have a significant impact on building in East Renfrewshire over the course of the next 20 years.
Mr Wallace believes “considerable anger” remains regarding the way the MIR – LDP’s precursor – was handled by the council.
He told The Extra: “The MIR showed a complete lack of adequate publicity having been afforded such an important document.
“A well-publicised series of public meetings would I thought have been more appropriate for a strategic document of this nature.
“I fear that the first many of our residents will know of the LDP is when the earthmovers appear on our boundaries.”
However, the council has hoped to promote awareness of the proposed LDP by adding two more drop-in public events to allow informal discussion of issues of interest to the public, businesses and interest groups.
The new events will be on Wednesday in Neilston library, and on Wednesday March 27 in Clarkston library. Both events will run from 3pm until 8pm.
These are in addition to the events already planned for Mearns library on Tuesday March 19.
Council leader Jim Fletcher said: “We are going the extra mile in terms of what we are doing, there are a whole series of drop in meetings.
“This is a semi judicial process so there is a tried and tested route to go down and we are doing more than we have to legally. If people are interested best thing to do is go to these drop in events.
“Tories supported the LDP: it has buy-in support from all the parties so shouldn’t be politically contentious. I am not sure public meetings are particularly helpful.
“In the drop-in meetings the community has a chance to talk to the officers involved at their leisure and convenience.
“As anybody who looks at the MIR and LDP will see, they are different documents, it is very much scaled back, the council are very open and transparent throughout the whole process.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We would encourage anyone to drop in to find out more about the future of East Renfrewshire and to have your say. The proposed local development plan will also be discussed at the area forums.”
The consultation process will close on May 1 this year.
Comments can be submitted by emailing a completed response form to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing using the Freepost address stating which document is being commented upon.