Community Sub-Group Report
Report of Robert Whittaker, Chairman of the Community Sub-Group.
The Chairman of the Community Sub-Group, Robert Whittaker presented a summary of the report to the Board.
The Sub-group asked the Board for a number of actions of which are detailed below:
Passengers were being charged more when purchasing tickets on the train compared with buying them at the station.
ACTION: A letter to be written to the Secretary of State to ask that the national rules about not needing to give railcard discounts on trains should only be applied when there are ticketing facilities at the station that are readily accessible to those with limited mobility from the boarding platform.
Concern about the lack of planning for expanded health-care provision for the new SUE residents.
ACTION: A letter to be written the local GP surgeries in Thetford (and will also include the Watton practice) to enquire about the current status, including their ability to accept new patients, the level of care they are able to provide for existing patients, and what facilities and resources they might need to improve services.
Mr Whittaker raised concern about the lack of a bus route from day one in the Thetford SUE area (first phase) which had been a planning requirement. The Executive Director of Place (Breckland) explained that the bus service would be implemented at trigger points, and Phase 1a did not meet that trigger point.
In addition, there was no accessible pedestrian access from Phase 1a into Thetford and it was suggested that Highways approach the developer for a compromised solution.
ACTION: that the Board write to the Developers (Hopkins Homes) raising concerns of the Community Sub-Group, and ask them to consider in the development plans the requirement for a footpath.
Mr Whittaker reminded the Board that he was still awaiting a response from Norfolk County Council with regard to the Cycling and Walking report. He asked the Board considered moving the outstanding recommendations. The Chairman explained that as there was not a representative from Norfolk County Council present at the meeting, he was unclear as to the direction of response from a County point of view, and was also aware the report had been included as part of the wider Thetford Transport study.
Councillor Jermy acknowledged the hard work that had been put into the study, and offered to make enquiries at Norfolk County Council to progress the report and recommendations. He also added that as a County Councillor he had access to a very small budget of which he had not used to its full potential.
Mr Whittaker felt there had been a lack of communication and public engagement from the Board, and suggested a number of actions for the Board to consider.
It was AGREED that the following ACTIONS would be undertaken:
· At its next meeting the Board has a main agenda item on communication and public engagement
· A Member of the GTDP board is assigned the task of monitoring the website to ensure it is kept up to date
· Each partner organisation appoints a named person to ensure that details any relevant news items and consultations are included on the GTDP website
· Partners agree to work with the community Sub-group on any local public engagement and consultation tasks they require
· The Board re-considers whether its name and that of the Community Sub-Group best reflects its work and purpose in the eyes of the public
· A meeting is arranged between Board Members and the two sub-Groups to discuss improvements and co-ordinate a forward planning
On behalf of the Board, the Chairman gave thanks to the outgoing Chairman of the Community Sub-Group who had been robust in his challenging, engaged with the Public, and continually raised publics issues with the Board.