Fans of BBC's Question Time will know the format well. A panel of experts aswering often searching and sometimes difficult questions posed by the audience on a range of relevant topical issues. This is exactly what is being planned for Richmond, East Twickenham and St Margarets in a series of events to be hosted by Richmond Borough Council.
Each of the events will enable residents to share directly with the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members the local issues that mean most to them, to make suggestions for improvements and hold leading members of the Council to account.
In the lead-up to the launch of the Village Planning consultation process in East Twickenham, Richmond and St Margaret’s, the events in each village will enable residents to have their say about their local area, directly to local councillors.
Last year, the Council agreed to move forward with proposals to develop the innovative Village Plans, by including guidance on local planning considerations. The process gives local people and businesses the lead role in developing local planning policy as well as a wider opportunity to ensure that the Council is working with the community to address the whole range of local issues.
Since then, residents in Kew, Whitton, Barnes, East Sheen and Mortlake have been working with the Council to help refresh their Village Plans and design the new supplementary planning guidance.
Starting in May, the Council will hold a series of drop-in sessions and walk-abouts, where residents will be asked to think about the character of East Twickenham, Richmond, and St Margarets. They will be asked what they would like to see protected and what they would like to see improved. When complete, the new ‘guidance’ will be taken into account when making decisions on planning applications.
Lord True, Leader of the Council, said:
“This Council is committed to listening to our residents and businesses and taking account of what they have to say.
“We have already worked with thousands of residents in five villages across the borough, and now we are continuing to roll out the process to the others.
“I know that residents in East Twickenham, Richmond, and St Margarets are enthusiastic about protecting and maintaining their beautiful villages. Many parts of these areas are already subject to conservation area status and they all have shopping and commercial areas which it is important to maintain.
“Through the Village Planning process, we will continue to work closely with residents and local groups to develop their existing Village Plans further. We will create additional planning guidance that can be used by residents, businesses and developers to cement the style, mood and key features of each area.
“These Question Time events will enable residents to come forward and let us know their thoughts about the villages in which they live.”
The Question Time, events will be held as follows:
Richmond Question Time Wednesday 28th January, 6.30pm – 8:30pm
Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond, TW9 1DH
St Margarets Question Time Tuesday 10th February, 6.30pm – 8:30pm
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