Well, Lolitics has been busy posting captioned pictures of a massive walrus bemoaning the loss of his consoltaishiun bus. Considering the bus-based bee in my bonnet I’ve developed over the lost Highgate Big City Plan bus, I feel his pain. I Am The Walrus (please comment your audible groans).
Luckily, Birmingham City Council seem to have realised that standing the public up during a public consultation exercise doesn’t send out the best message. It took a few emails and phone calls, but yesterday afternoon the Press Office sent me this statement apologising for the ‘error of judgement’:
Clive Dutton, Director of Planning and Regeneration, said:
“I have become aware of concerns that have been raised regarding the relocation of the Big City Plan consultation team from their pre-advertised location during the afternoon of Wednesday 12th Jan.
“It was an error in judgement that when the bus was temporarily relocated no staff stayed behind to continue the consultative work, or to explain to members of public that the absence was only temporary and the full team would return shortly.
“I’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
To be honest, it was the lack of consideration rather than the inconvenience that bothered me. But the council seem to agree that the consultation should have gone ahead as planned and advertised, which is good. I’m still awaiting the response to my Freedom of Information request, which should give me the audit trail behind that decision.
Yesterday marked the official end of the Big City Plan consultation period. Go to Big City Talk to see people’s comments and discussions around the document, which city council PR Director Debra Davis and Big City Plan Project Manager Philip Singleton have agreed to look very closely at.