Two Derby residents have been trying to get clarity from the Council about a number of key decisions relating to issues in the Littleover/Blagreaves area. Meetings with Council officers, and Paul Robinson, the Chief Exec, have been protracted and not conclusive. They have ended with comments like – “Cllr Banwait made the decision / he’s personally involved / only he can answer your questions / he has the power to overrule Officer decisions as the Leader / it’s a political decision / he doesn’t have to listen to the residents”. Despite being assured by Cllr Banwait that he would meet with them to clarify matters, such an appointment has not been forthcoming, their persistence in making this arrangement has not borne fruit….so they sent this letter to Derby News:
Dear Derby News,
Would you please kindly allow us to try and make contact with Cllr Ranjit Banwait through you, since all other methods have stalled? Thank you.
Dear Cllr Banwait,
At the Blagreaves Neighbourhood Forum, in summer 2015, you distributed your council business cards saying we could contact you if there was anything we wanted to talk about. I subsequently emailed you several times and delivered hard copy letters to the Council House, but received no reply. Clearly the council communications system is in a bad way.
We were then told you prefer talking to people, and therefore asked you for a face-to-face meeting to discuss certain issues. We confirmed that we expected this to be a civilised, courteous meeting, with factual questions answered and an honest but calm exchange of views; and that we represented ward residents, not any political party.
You agreed to meet, but requested specific questions beforehand to ensure the appropriate officers would be present to answer any technical questions.
We replied that we preferred a discussion to a set piece Q and A session, but nevertheless supplied the subjects as you asked. We also requested prior agreement to ask supplementary questions.
We declined your offer to meet Cllr Afzal instead (although he would be welcome to observe). Since you have been involved so personally in these ward issues, it is you whom we wish to see. However, again the council email system didn’t seem to be working, so after unanswered reminders two and four weeks later, we rang your PA. She suggested dates for meeting Cllr Afzal – which we again declined, since only you can clarify your personal involvement.
It now seems that the council email and phone systems have, unfortunately, both completely broken down – which is why we are left with no option but to contact you through the media.
Please let us know how we can get in touch with you to arrange the meeting to which you agreed. You have the full contact details of one of us: please feel free to use them – or, editor permitting, please advise us through Derby News.
Thank you – and we look forward to meeting you.
Anne Johns and Kenneth Lewis
pp Blagreaves Neighbourhood Board.
The issues relate to the the road layout changes at the Stenson Road/Blagreaves Lane junction and the spending of £300k of public money – the latter will be the subject of a future Derby News article. Why is Cllr Banwait being so evasive? And this from the person who claims to be a “very accessible Cllr”
Perhaps Cllr Banwait will take the initiative now and contact these 2 residents?
Categories: Derby City Council