Cover Letter – reply concerning petitions P-05-843 / P-05-845

Date: 26th November 2019

Dear Chair,

After a year of actively progressing these petitions, I must confess to feeling ‘soul-weary’ in the face of blank refusals by Ministers to acknowledge any of the points in both of these appeals.

Despite providing endless arguments and logical reasoning as to why, we the public, need more protection from those who make life-changing and community-changing decisions, I see the same refusals to make positive change from those with the power to make them.

It seems the Minister for Housing and Government is very happy with the situation, and avoids answering any of my points directly in favour of evoking logical fallacies.  I can only refer you back to the first letter I provided at around this time last year, which is still just as valid today. 

My community is very disappointed at the lack of change that these petitions have brought about.  While there are large numbers of people who are very grateful that I have made this effort, it just highlights why so few people make the attempt.  This long and exhaustive process seems to be designed in the favour of Ministers, in the hope that genuine residents such as myself, and members of my community, just ‘give up’ as it were. 

I do not feel that the points I have raised in my petitions, have been adequately considered by the relevant parties, and believe there is little chance of that happening at this stage.  I strongly believe that an overhaul of the planning system is required, and you will continue to receive petitions from the public, on such related matters, as more injustice occurs across South Wales.

Before you consider a final verdict on these petitions, I would request that the Committee reviews all of the documentation that I have sent through on these matters.  I have the full support of my local councillor, the SUSTRANS charity (the director of which requested to come and speak on my behalf in a previous reply, but we heard nothing back on this?) and my regional Assembly Ministers. 

These are real issues, affecting huge numbers of residents across Wales, and they are not, sadly, resolved by repeated assurances from the Minister for Housing and Local Government that she is satisfied.

With expensive legal teams and advice on the side of our local authorities, what hope do our small Welsh communities have of fighting injustice, with no knowledge of planning law to call on?  If you would please read my petition points in my initial addresses to the Committee, (after my petitions were accepted), it should be clear that I am asking only for positive, and very achievable changes. 

I thank you for your time and consideration,