Some more news on the Spurn Liaison group.
I received a response from the CEO of East Riding of Yorkshire Council following her meeting with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to discuss the Spurn Liaison group.My response is below.
I received a standard response from the National Lottery regarding some queries on Coastal Communities money and I have gone back to them for some more in-depth information.
I still have not received a response from the Chair of the Spurn Liaison group asking him to confirm his position. This is disappointing as I believe weak leadership is one of the primary causes of the failure of the Spurn Liaison group.
Thank you for your response to my email regarding the Spurn Liaison Group (SLG).
Unfortunately I cannot agree with some of your comments for the following reasons.
Firstly I do not represent an organisation. I am on the SLG to represent an 'interest group' (as mentioned within the protocols document submitted by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust [YWT] relating to Planning Condition 21).
My interest group is wildlife photography and as such views are my own and are essentially focussed ( but not limited to) opportunities at Spurn for wildlife photography and how the visitor experience will be enhanced as a result of the wider development at Spurn.
Whist you do not go into detail about the 'fundamental issues between organisations represented on the group', I can only presume that you are referring to the frustrations arising from numerous members of the group because of the apparent lack of commitment and willingness from YWT to divulge basic information relating to the development of the visitor centre when it has been reasonably requested.
Some information that is still outstanding includes;
A representative from ERYC Highways department has not attended an SLG meeting to explain the detail around traffic management and the potential introduction of double yellow lines along Spurn Road, despite being reasonably requested at SLG meetings.
There are no definitive answers on access to Spurn, specifically opening times, extent of gates,disabled access and access to the public footpath, despite being reasonably requested at SLG meetings.
There has been no sharing of the Spurn masterplan and potential introduction of ideas and suggestions for visitor experience enhancements by members of the SLG despite discussions at SLG meetings.
Also YWT did not write a letter to local residents at the start of the project informing local residents of basic information such as start dates, contact information and information on vehicle movements despite being reasonably requested at SLG meetings.
These are facts that cannot be disputed and it would not be unreasonable to suggest that YWT have been selective in the information they have released to the SLG.
The protocol set up for the running of the SLG meetings had to be submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) for approval. That would suggest that the content had to be meaning and relevant to the ERYC for it to be approved.
In my view therefore there are 2 main purposes of the SLG.
The first is to keep members and the wider community informed. for reasons stated above (and others that can be produced on request), it is abundantly clear that the SLG has not been kept adequately informed. This assumption is based on fact.
The second important purpose of the SLG is to build and maintain relations. This is more subjective and it is on this point I agree with you. Whilst not going into detail, you have clearly recognised 'fundamental issues between organisations represented on the group'. The likelihood for disagreement is also recognised within the protocols document. Whilst it would be difficult to measure at this stage, I would be interested in understanding how you can conclude that the objective of building and maintaining relations has been achieved? I am firmly of the opinion that relations with YWT and the local community have not improved as a result of the introduction of planning condition 21.
I am also of the opinion that the SLG lacked strong leadership and this has been fundamental as to why the group has not fulfilled its objectives.
For all of the reasons stated above I cannot agree with your statement that ' The liaison group is essentially a means to communicate to the wider community issues relating to the development of the visitor centre and as such will have served its purpose when the visitor centre opens'.
The SLG has not fulfilled its purpose.
In my view YWT have not communicated properly ( more a show of reluctance and obstinacy) and there is no demonstrable evidence to suggest relations have been repaired or maintained and as such ERYC should not have discharged Planning Condition 21.
It is disappointing to note your comment ' I agreed with YWT that he next meeting should be when the building opens and this will be the last meeting as the group has fulfilled its purpose'. It is disappointing to think that you didn't want to discuss this matter with the SLG face to face before coming to this conclusion. You could have and you should have.
There are a lot of people on the SLG that care passionately about Spurn. The SLG offered some hope that everybody could work together for the greater good of Spurn and this opportunity has now been taken away.
YWT have recently been granted £1.1 million of Coastal Communities money. It is disappointing that ERYC are content to allow an organisation ( in this case YWT) to spend a substantial amount of money in the local community which is designed to promote growth and create jobs, without any mechanism of communicating to they very community the money is intended to help. This cannot be right.
Finally I have written to ****** **** under separate cover voicing the same concerns as stated above.
I am awaiting his response that will determine my next course of action.
Best Regards Martin