Friday, September 24, 2010

SHOCK - Personal details of Special Needs School objectors released by WSCC

Thanks to Simon Hicks providing me with a link, I have been able to finally take a look at some of the documentation relating to the proposed construction of the Special Needs School on the grounds of Oakmeeds Community College.

What I found rather suprising was that among the various planning documents and letters from various departments, West Sussex County Council have chosen to upload every objection letter and email from members of the public. Also attached are the full names and addresses of each sender. In a case where an email has been sent in, the council have added that person's address in pencil.

How many of those people objecting to the plans would have chosen to write to the council if they knew that their letters were going to be made publicly available for everyone to read?

The reason I pose this question is because having read some of the letters, I have found quite a few to have been rather 'hammed up'. Of course there is nothing wrong in trying to drive home to the council that building the school at Oakmeeds is a big mistake, but they aren't the sort of letters that you'd be too happy for people that know of you to be reading.

Additionally, some letters contain personal views regarding special needs children and also opinions on how other school children in the area would treat those with a handicap. There are also a few digs about Oakmeeds Community College from parents of current pupils at the school. Lets hope that the headmaster doesn't read those particular letters!

Are WSCC wrong to have published the objection letters with full names and addresses of each author?


Anonymous said...

This is normal for planning applications. After all who is objecting to or supporting an application can be relevant,

Anonymous said...

Surely you're not arguing for secrecy? All of this information could be released under Freedom of Information so why not just publish it all upfront.

Anonymous said...

A bit of a flippant post for such a big local issue: I read through the objections (having written one myself - I couldn't care less if my name and address is given, if that's the law) and - although some are better informed than others and there are a few odd mis-spelled points, they are all serious and to the point.

All will, of course, be over-ridden by the usual oligiarchy of local politicians of both major parties: perhaps, you might think, Cllr Hicks could do a bit more than supply the odd weblink... Let's hope he's taking issue into to his secretive BH Lib Dem councillor colleagues who seem to spend their time trying bypass local opinion on this important issue, while whipping up people up with parking restrictions with various illegally flyposted leaflets.