Please see attached for draft Minutes from the meeting.
6. Matters raised by Stakeholders’ (SAS)
(a) Aileen Jackson raised the issue of people who live in rural areas with virtually useless broadband being alienated and left out of the planning process. It is a statutory requirement for the public to be involved in the process and broadband issues need to be dealt with at government level across Scotland. The rollout of online/virtual working should be slowed to accommodate this. PAS raised many of the same concerns. Penny Uprichard expressed sympathy with this position; David Middleton added that it is often the elderly who are disenfranchised if on-line is the only way to get involved; and Rachel Connor added that there is a difference between the developers perception of how the process is working and that of other parties involved.
(b) Rachel Connor requested the DPEA produce comprehensive guidance explaining the process, timescales, and terminology to encourage people to participate in the process. She added that many people in the community were baffled by the information currently available resulting in them having to engage professional representation at huge cost.
David Henderson explained that DPEA had set up a working group to look at this issue and the intention was to produce guidance with the intention of including clips of hearings/inquiries allowing members of the public to gain a feel of what was expected. Hopefully this will be completed by the end of September and will be sent to Stakeholders for comment. He agreed that the use of accessible language was very important.
We’ll keep you updated and in the meantime if there are any concerns you would like us to raise at the next meeting, please get in touch either via the website or facebook.