Jul 19 2012

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Press Release – Technical Problems at BaNES

Technical Problems Cause Turmoil on Deadline Day for BANES’ Gypsy and Traveller Consultation Process

The final deadline for public responses to BANES’ Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocations Development Plan Document, was thrown into turmoil today when email submissions made to the official email address were rejected.

Just hours before the 5pm deadline of the Public Consultation Process, many people sending their feedback to the email address (planning_policy@bathnes.gov.uk) received ‘bounceback’ messages which said: “Delivery has failed to these recipients or distribution lists… The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please try resending this message later, or contact the recipient directly.”
At 3:40pm today a BANES email was finally sent to people on their mailing list to explain the bouncebacks were due to “the Planning Policy Team mailbox reaching capacity on Tuesday 17th July 2012, resulting in emails sent after this time failing to reach the mailbox”. It went on to instruct people to “resend your email as soon as possible“, but also decided to extend the time limit for email representations only until 5pm on Friday 20th July.
Clarke Osborne of the Stanton Wick Action Group says: “This is not the first time BANES’ email service has caused problems with this consultation process, but for it to happen on the day of deadline when it was obvious that scores of people would be sending their representations by email, is shocking.”
“Many people may not check their email now, or realise it has not been received. It’s further evidence, if any were needed, of a process that’s been completely flawed from the start and poorly-executed throughout; it’s appalling that the catalogue of errors now includes BANES’ inability to even effectively receive email submissions on the deadline day of a crucial consultation process.”
“I would urge anyone who had made email submissions today to resend them again, rather than assume that they had been received.”
As a result of mass opposition to many of the sites selected by BANES, and on inspection of the background, B&NES Planning, Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel asked the Cabinet to call a halt to its plans, arguing that the site selection process was flawed and highlighting that the majority of the sites do not accord with Government guidelines. The Cabinet chose to ignore this request.
Mr Osborne continues: “The Cabinet has already demonstrated that it is not willing to listen to or take any notice of, local views, and have no respect for Coalition government guidelines on suitability of sites.”
“They are ignoring the public and their government, have selected many wholly unsuitable locations through a disingenuous scoring exercise, and are attaching no weight to the genuine planning and policy-based arguments from both local residents and politicians. Today’s error is yet another example of how this process has been shambolically conducted.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.stantonwickactiongroup.org/press-release-technical-problems-cause-turmoil/

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