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Newsletter, May 2006

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Protecting Your Future: Thames Estuary 2100 online consultation

There is a lot in the news at the moment about the potential for flooding in the Thames Estuary, where around 1.25 million people live and work. Over the next 25-100 years sea levels will rise, the effects of climate change will continue to increase, and with that so will flood risk. At the same time, the pressure for development in the South-East of England means that many communities within the estuary floodplain will grow.

The current flood defences work well, and can be expected to do so for the next 25 years; without these defences large areas would flood with every high tide. But because the defences work so well, many people in London and the estuary today are oblivious to the fact that they live in the Thames floodplain, and the risk that entails, however small.

The Environment Agency, which must plan a system that can provide a high level of protection to communities and is able to adapt to the uncertainty that surrounds the future impacts of climate change, is developing a tidal flood risk management plan. The Thames Estuary 2100 project (TE2100) is now consulting on the early phases of this plan so as to draw the public into the debate about these critical issues.

Metropolitan Police Consultation on Policing Priorities

Which issues do you feel should be addressed by the Metropolitan Police most urgently? How would you prioritise the multitude of tasks that the Metropolitan Police needs to deal with? Over the last four years the MPA/MPS has conducted a public consultation with individuals and community groups in London on policing priorities. In the first stage (open until 19 May 2006), participants contribute and explain their particular concerns. The second stage feeds back the results of the first in a structured way and asks participants to prioritise the groups of concerns that have been brought up.

This public consultation is not a stand-alone exercise. The results will be used by the Metropolitan Police to inform the setting of policing priorities for 2007/8 and for the development of the Metropolitan Police Service Corporate Strategy 2007/10. What's more, key managers within the Met will be consulted on what they are doing in response to the outcomes of the public consultation.

Surrey Minerals - The Preferred Option Consultation

The Preferred Option Consultation started on Friday 28 April 2006. This consultation examines proposals for the minerals plan which have been prepared by Surrey County Council to ensure that Surrey can meet its requirements for minerals in the most sustainable way, and to set the framework and policies to determine future planning applications for minerals development up to 2016.

It is often a challenge to strike the right balance between asking the public to respond in depth but overwhelming them with information on the one hand and making surveys short and easy to respond to but simplistic on the other. In this consultation, the background information is quite extensive, so a summary questionnaire is available for people who are only interested in commenting on preferred areas and the restoration of sites. This process also integrates paper-based responses with online feedback to reach as many people as possible while keeping costs down.


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