The Final Push

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Having not sent a blog post for a while now we are sending two in quick succession. But there is a good reason for this. We need your help.

I mentioned in my last post that we are gearing up for the next stage of the Government’s Planning Review.  As we approach the autumn, the Bill will be presented to the Scottish Parliament and debated, amendments will be made and finally the legislation will be passed. We will be doing our utmost to get what we want incorporated into the new legislation, putting on the maximum pressure to make sure it addresses key community concerns.

Since the review began back in October 2015 many of you have contributed to the process.  So many of you went along to workshops, wrote letters, spoke to your MSPs and got stuck into writing consultation responses. Everyone’s persistence and hard work paid off, our issues including Equal Rights of Appeal (ERA) were discussed in the Parliamentary debate in January. Despite ERA having been very deliberately taken off the agenda right from the start, together, we put it back ON the agenda.  In addition, our work was recognised and acknowledged by MSPs during the parliamentary debate, it shows what an impact we have had. We couldn’t have done what we did without your loyal support and efforts.

And we want to thank you.

But now as we approach the last stage of the process, we need to ask again, can you help us with this last push?

Our work is not yet finished.

Even the Government commissioned research showed clearly that communities are not getting their voices heard, people are just not able to influence planning decisions. It is clear that the public voice is subsumed under the more powerful voices of the professionals and developers who largely seem to agree that the purpose of the planning system is to support economic growth whether or not this fits with people’s aspirations for the places they care about.

We need to address this.

We need to keep our voice strong.

We want to keep working with you all around the country, to get a co-ordinated response, a united voice calling for change. But we need some extra resources to do this.

Can you help us raise an extra £2000 to carry out this concerted effort in the last few months of this review?

We have set up a crowdfunder and are asking you to donate to help us achieve our collective ambitions.

Your donations will provide us with much needed funds to help us campaign as the planning legislation is drafted and debated in Parliament. It will give us the resources to gather further evidence that we need to persuade politicians to support our calls for better rights for communities. Help us to deliver an effective message using local, national and social media to the politicians who are working on the Bill. We really need funds so that we can continue to give more talks around the country, raising awareness of the legislative process and how people can help. We need to continue to get in touch with new groups and communities, so we can increase our network of people around Scotland who can join together in one strong voice at the optimum moment.

The chance to affect legislation doesn’t come round very often. It will be years before we get another opportunity, so please help us to maximise our chances this time round. Please donate here.

Many thanks and please do get in touch if you want to know more.


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Clare Symonds

Clare Symonds is the Chair of Planning Democracy.

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