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Advisory Group Side-lined

12 non-aligned residents’ representatives, members of Havant Borough Council’s appointed Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group in January 2017, walked out at the beginning of yesterday’s January 16th Infrastructure Advisory Meeting held at the Plaza following a statement made to the Chairman Cllr. Wilson by Hayling resident Dave Parham. The reason for the walk-out was as follows.

HBC had set up the Advisory Group expressly to engage the wider residential community, in addition to our elected Councillors, with the profoundly serious issues of Hayling’s Infrastructure. This wider community comprised invited non-aligned i.e. not Party political, residents and we have been faithful in attending all the Infrastructure Presentations, questioning and making, wherever possible, constructive contributions.

During the Infrastructure Advisory Meeting on April 25th 2018 , HBC stated that it was setting up training sessions for those interested in understanding the A3023 Micro-Simulation Study. This opportunity has never materialized despite residents’ repeated requests. At that same Meeting complaint was made that residents had not been involved with the parameters for this key study of the A3023’s current performance, yet the outcome of any traffic modelling depends upon the parameters set. During the Autumn 2018 the member residents were told that the Micro-Simulation Study would be presented to the Group a clear month before its general publication, giving us time to examine and comment on it. Despite the Study being available to HBC Officers in early December 2018, the Group’s first and only opportunity to view it was January 16th, 2 weeks before it goes before Full Council as part of the Pre-Submission Local Plan 2036 for their final vote.

It is clear from this sequence of broken agreements and lack of agreed engagement with the Advisory Group’s resident stakeholders that this important group has been prevented from working with the Council at this final Stage in its Pre-Submission Local Plan. It is clear from individual members yesterday that we all feel that HBC has chosen to disregard the very real concerns about Hayling’s A3023 and related road network. Had we remained for yesterday’s Presentation, HBC could have claimed that it had ensured meaningful engagement with the wider community and sadly, this past 9 months has proven that this has not been the case.

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