Sir – As a member of the charrette team and also a concerned resident of Hertfordshire, I was very disappointed by your article (WHT, July 9) where you simply rubbished the idea of the charrette (we did no such thing – Ed). The point of the charrette was
Sir - As a member of the charrette team and also a concerned resident of Hertfordshire, I was very disappointed by your article (WHT, July 9) where you simply rubbished the idea of the charrette (we did no such thing - Ed).
The point of the charrette was NOT to come up with a single solution to the issue of new housing in Hertfordshire as your article implied. It was to develop a series of options for such development and to inform the public about what those options really meant, allowing the general public to inform, and be informed by, the discussion.
Your article was simply negative throughout, and completely failed to actually inform anyone, indeed in more than one place it was factually incorrect. The BRE (not the Building Research Establishment as you stated) were involved, but did not 'lead' as you stated. A consultancy company called DPZ actually led the charrette.
You also appear to have deliberately misquoted Nigel Quinton in your article (we are not in the business of deliberately misquoting anyone - Ed).
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Nigel was enthusiastic about the charrette in the material he sent to your reporter, and while he thought there may be issues with the concepts discussed and the current RSS plan, he was certainly not dismissive of the approach, as your article made him seem.
Chris Conway's apparent dismissal of the process in the same article is surprising and also disappointing. If the public's preference is for a new town (and that is yet to be determined) why should the fact that it was never mooted make a difference? I was under the impression that the RSS was a directive, and therefore not set in stone. Is government, both local and national, so inflexible it can't listen to the people it's supposed to represent or consider new approaches when they come along?
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It's most disappointing to note that this attempt to really plan for the future, properly and inclusively, has been reported on in such a distorted way. The charrette was an attempt to allow people to really think about how we want Hertfordshire to develop over the next 20, 30 or even 50 years. We all want the best for our area and this is what the charrette was designed to help us achieve.
I think we would also like our local paper to tell us what's happening in our area, in a truthful and objective way. Your report failed to do this and undermined a worthy initiative that Hertfordshire residents should be encouraged to engage with, for the benefit of all Hertfordshire.
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate.