THE Brooms Head caravan park masterplan has thrown up a large amount of outrage in the online community.

With many upset at the changing of feel of the facility, there is one thing each member of the community can do: get involved in the process.

You'd be amazed how many times the words "community consultation" comes up in the planning notes of major projects like this, and while there's lots of talk and bluster now, when it comes to crunch time, very little noise is heard.

So what can you do? Sign an online petition? They are the equivalent of hitting "Like" on Facebook. It looks pretty, and makes you feel like you're involved, but it does absolutely nothing. It may not be a popular opinion, but the council's decision not to accept online petitions is a wise one as it stops what would be a tidal wave of oft-clicked but not relevant issues being presented.

Play the game of community consultation though and you can have a real voice. Stand up at meetings. Write letters to this paper. Write letters and petition the council with your own forms.

Don't think it works? A band of letter-writers recently stopped a planned rate rise in its tracks. Even more recently, councillors sent the plan for the Calypso Caravan Park back for more community consultation - perhaps with one eye on that previous rates decision.

And when the public meeting is called, don't rely on the usual suspects to talk for you. I have been to multiple community meetings held at decent expense to near empty rooms. What message does it send? Be loud, be proud, and be reasonable, and you might find you start getting what you want.



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