When will it ever start?
As with comedy, the secret of good consultation is… timing. I was wondering what was happening about the public consultation on night flights that TDC had promised, so I emailed Anona Somasundaram, the Democratic Services Officer in charge of the AWP:
On 19th August a news item appeared on the TDC website about Night Flight policy:
“The council will be engaging in a comprehensive public consultation process. Details of the process and how to be involved will be announced following a meeting of the council’s Airport Working Party.”
As the AWP met on the 26th August, could you let me know what the process is for public consultation.
My understanding that a further meeting of the Working Party will be called for the purpose of agreeing a programme for public consultation. I hope to be able to confirm that shortly.
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. Two more questions:
- does the public consultation period start when the programme is announced (or has it started BEFORE the public knows what the consultation process is)?
- how long is the public consultation period (if it’s already started, when did it start)?
I confirm, as stated in my earlier email, that the programme for public consultation will be finalised at the next meeting of the Airport Working Party. I also confirm that public consultation has not commenced. Details have still to be publicly announced, and consultation will not commence until after announcement. Public consultation will take place over a 12-week period.
You’re being very helpful – sorry to trouble you again. When is the next AWP meeting? I’ve looked at the TDC online meetings calendar, and there’s no scheduled meetings at all for the AWP for the next year (!).
No further meetings have been scheduled yet. I’ll make a note to let you know as soon as next meeting has been arranged.
So, at some point in the (near?) future the Airport Working Party will convene, ruminate and pronounce. When the public have been told how the public consultation will work, only then will the 12 week clock start ticking. Glad that’s cleared up.