Way to best future?

SCARBOROUGH BOROUGH Council has released its draft corporate plan, 2011-16.

I urge you all to read it and respond because unless residents do so, by taking each aim apart and comparing it with each of the other aims and communicating the results via the consultation form, we won’t see any difference in the future compared to what we’ve had to put up with thanks to the last corporate plan.

Quote from the draft document: “Welcome to our Corporate Plan, “TO BE THE BEST” which details our vision, mission and key aims for the next five years and explains how we plan to achieve them. These direct our services to tackle key issues for the Borough, and reflect the priorities of local residents.

Our aims are linked to and impact on one another in complex ways. Many of the actions we are undertaking link to more than one of our priorities and improvement in one area often depends upon success in one or more of the others.”

At last someone of the borough council has realised that their aims link and impact on one another, there’s a first for them, haven’t residents been making this point over the years when decisions are made which conflict with other strategies and aims.

To demonstrate my point...

Aim 3 - Inclusive and Vibrant says: “We believe that an equal society protects and promotes equal, real freedom and opportunity to live in the way people value and would choose, so that everyone can flourish. An equal society recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals, and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and be.

Strong communities are those where people are involved in shaping and caring for their communities. We want to ensure that everyone is able to participate in influencing the decisions that affect their lives.”

Well, gee whizz, Whitby residents certainly made their views known about wanting the Sainsbury’s development on Whitby’s east side, but planners didn’t listen did they? It took members of the public at a planning meeting to make councillors sit up and listen, and then do the unforgivable by ignoring their officers’ decision and approving the plan. And we certainly participated in the Tesco development at Dean Road, didn’t we?

Aim 4 – Quality Environments says: “One of the borough’s greatest assets is its heritage - both the natural and built environment. The quality of the environment affects all our day-to-day lives. We need to protect it now, and manage and improve it for the future.

Protect it? More like, if it’s worth money, sell it. Take the Sunken Garden on St Nicholas Cliff in Scarborough for instance, an area enjoyed by residents and tourists alike for decades. We’ll object to it being made a town green because we can sell it and make money.

Finally, “Traffic congestion and public transport were identified as key areas for improvement by our residents”. Once again Aims 3 and 4 are cast aside for money-grabbing purposes, yes, the Tesco development at Dean Road, which will increase traffic congestion, not improve it. Then the plans to build a Sports Village on Weaponness, which is accessed from the already congested Seamer Road, but will allow the council to make pots of money by selling the sports centre site on Filey Road which already copes with the traffic needs of its users.

Viv Wright

Helredale Road

Whitby