Councillors in Beverley to learn from cobbles controversy
COUNCILLORS in Beverley are pledging to look again at how they gauge public opinion.
The furore over the plan to remove the cobbles from Saturday Market has raised questions over how effectively the council communicates with people.
With contractors already on site, the authority this week performed a U-turn and agree to the stone setts being retained as part of a £2,650,000 revamp of the market place.
Councillor David Elvidge, representing Minster and Woodmansey ward, said: "No one wants to see this sort of thing again.
Combi Boiler **5 Year Warranty** Supply and Fitted £960.00View details
Combi Boiler fitted for £960.00
Ideal Logic boiler
Please inquire for further details
further costs incur if gas supply needs repiping to gas meter
further costs incur if condensate drain point further then 3 meters from boiler
Contact: 01482 423356
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"There are formal consultation processes but there is no reason we can't review what we do and how we do it. I think it's an issue for all the ward councillors."
The authority actually began publicising the market scheme well in advance.
But critics said the consultation was inadequate.
Problems for the council started after more than 500 people attended a public meeting in December at Toll Gavel Church, with retaining the cobbles at the top of the agenda.
After crunch talks on Thursday, the authority said it had reached an agreement with Beverley Civic Society, the principal objector.
Instead of removing the setts, contractors will now take them up by hand and re-lay most of them.
It means, as well as costing an extra £150,000, the market revamp will also take ten weeks longer than planned.
It will run into next year, with a break over Christmas so the work does not interfere with the busy shopping period.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding Council, said: "This council has and continues to take great care when it comes to consultation and, following the gatherings and correspondences in support of retaining the setts, I felt, as leader of the council, it was important to allow extra time for further discussions to take place."
The revisions to the scheme will be reviewed by Beverley Area Community Partnership, of which Cllr Elvidge is chairman.
He said: "Our primary concern is the users of the market.
"A separate thing will be a review of how we consult with these groups and I'm hoping Beverley Community Partnership can be involved in that in some way.
"I think the ward councillors should have been involved at an earlier stage."
With so many changes planned in Beverley, including the £27m integrated plan and proposals to expand the town with more houses, thorough consultation will be vital.