During the summer a letter about the proposed dam in Dinas Powys Woods was sent to Clair Pillman, CEO of Natural Resources Wales. Over the next few blogs we’re going to show you what we asked… and what we got back.
Today we’re going to look at NRW’s views on the consultation process thus far…
We asked how we could best work with NRW to achieve a positive outcome for all.
NRW said: ‘Open to discussion. Would note requirements for all parties, and should include others in the community’.
Our response: We have requested a second community consultation to include ‘all parties’ on many occasions yet, despite promises, nothing has been arranged to-date.
We questioned how the consultation so far sits with Participation Cymru’s 10 Principles of Public Engagement.
NRW said: We are encouraging and enabling everyone affected to be involved. We ‘have raised project, options and impacts for people affected to engage and value feedback’.
We will ‘Work with relevant partner organisations such as WT, VoG’
Our ‘Information is “plain English”, worded for public’ and we have ‘Made it easy for people to take part – letters, notice board, Facebook, politicians’
‘People can take part effectively’
We acknowledge the ‘Impact of contribution’ and ‘the OBC (Outline Business Case) consultation will build on this and we will communicate [the] way forward’.
And finally ‘If we are not achieving we welcome feedback and will improve in future’.
Our response: Difficult to agree with any of this. Examples: ‘TAN15’, ‘ model inputs and outputs are sense checked and sensitivity checked’ , ‘precautionary, but a balanced risk-based approach.’ None of this is plain English! There are many other examples.
The original questionnaire [sent to homes at risk of flooding in 2018] gave people the choice between ‘Flood storage area’ or ‘alternative flood walls’: how many recipients really understood what these options were? Why weren’t they given more options?
38 people agreed to a ‘Flood Storage area’ (out of 400)
Over 350 people have turned out in person against the dam and we have 1,500 people on social media with only one person even vaguely indicating they might be in favour of the dam – but NRW don’t really seem to be taking this seriously.
To-date, we have had no further response from NRW.