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Council leader criticises people who 'get grumpy' but don't take part in public consultations

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 14 November 2019

Cllr Darren Rodwell said:

Cllr Darren Rodwell said: "What we find is they get grumpy after it's finished because their ignorance hasn't allowed them to take part." Picture: LBBD

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The leader of the council has slammed people who complain but don't participate in public consultations saying their "ignorance" stops them from taking part.

Cllr Sade Bright asked for details of the public consultation. Picture: LBBDCllr Sade Bright asked for details of the public consultation. Picture: LBBD

Cllr Darren Rodwell was speaking at a meeting of Barking and Dagenham Council's cabinet at the town hall on Tuesday, November 12.

He was commenting after a question from Cllr Sade Bright who asked whether people in Marks Gate who weren't online would be able to take part in a public consultation over a proposal to build 200 homes on a strip of open grassland next to Padnall Lake.

Cllr Rodwell, commenting on public consultations, said: "What we find is [people] get grumpy after it's finished because their ignorance hasn't allowed them to take part, rather than the council not wishing [them] to take part."

Cllr Cameron Geddes, who put forward the proposals, quipped beforehand: "I look forward to the computerisation of Chadwell Heath. I would have thought the majority [of people in the area] have access."

Cllr Cameron Geddes said the new homes would be some of the most prestigious council owned homes in the borough. Picture: LBBDCllr Cameron Geddes said the new homes would be some of the most prestigious council owned homes in the borough. Picture: LBBD

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He added that "extensive" and "probably quite exhausting" public consultations would take place as well.

But the council's cabinet chief for regeneration and social housing said the local authority "genuinely" wanted to know what people feel about the scheme, which could see rents of £150 a week.

He said the public consultation would involve asking people how to lay out the area in response to a question from Cllr Evelyn Carpenter who asked whether there will be a public right of way so people can enjoy "nature at its best in Barking and Dagenham".

"These are going to be some of the most prestigious council owned homes we're going to have in Barking and Dagenham," Cllr Geddes added.

The cabinet voted in favour of recommendations which included approving the site for development and agreeing £63,940,000 costs.

Of that figure, almost £46m would be borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board, a government body which makes loans to councils.

Pat Hayes, managing director of the council's regeneration firm Be First, said on Wednesday: "Last night's decision is exciting because we can now start detailed designs to build quality homes for local people at rents they can truly afford."

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