ADD UPDATE, 7 August 2018: Further to last night’s decision by Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) to extend its Local Plan consultation to midnight tomorrow, 8 August, ADD’s chairman, John Lauwerys (above), had the email exchange below with EBC’s CEO Nick Tustian today. The bottom line is that if, like many people, you’ve been unable to submit your views because of system ‘errors’, and you’re concerned your views will not be registered, you should contact Mr Tustian immediately (see details below).
Email from John Lauwerys to Nick Tustian, 7 August 2018, 09:15
Subject: EBC draft local plan Reg.19 consultation
Dear Mr Tustian,
I rang your office yesterday to speak to you about the ‘crash’ of the EBC Local Plan consultation website, which is of great concern. Extending the consultation deadline by two days will give the large number of people still trying to make their representations more time to do so but it doesn’t ensure that your system’s failure will not have had a negative effect on the consultation process.
The main concern that ADD has is that some of those submitting a response to the consultation will have been prevented from completing their response half way through and have lost what they had completed thus far. We fear some will simply have given up in frustration and that accordingly their representation will be permanently lost. You referred in your note to councillors (which it would be courteous for you to post on the Council’s website to inform the wider public) to problems emerging on Sunday afternoon. We have had many reports of problems running through Saturday, Sunday and Monday 6 August – the original closing date for the consultation.
I would be glad on behalf of ADD to receive your assurance that the failure in your website system will not have resulted in any submission – which was in the process of being made – being permanently lost. If there is this possibility it seems essential that you urgently ensure a statement of that possibility is made public so that anyone so affected can quickly make another representation.
On behalf of the ADD committee
Reply from Nick Tustian to John Lauwerys, 7 August 2018, 14:31
Subject: RE: EBC draft local plan Reg.19 consultation
Dear Mr Lauwerys,
The system we are using to record consultation responses is designed specifically to cope with large scale consultation events such as this and we have been working with the software company to try and understand why there have been problems over the weekend. Certainly at the moment the system seems to be working well and hopefully the extra 48 hours will enable anyone who experienced problems at the weekend to submit their response.
In respect of those who have attempted to submit but got an error message, their responses will be in the system as by this stage they will have completed all of the mandatory fields that would enable us to identify it. However, if anyone has concerns they should email us and we can check the system to ensure it has been received.
Chief Executive – Management Team
Eastleigh Borough Council, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh, SO50 9YN
Tel: 023 8068 8205 Ext: 8136