How we can help you
Weekly meetings keep members updated with action on several fronts.
Campaigns are sometimes misunderstood. More often the action is conducted behind the scenes, rather than in public, on the streets.
The details that have to be absorbed from dry-as-dust documents and government policies can seem impossible to interpret, but they do form the backbone of any action. We all have to understand just why and what, where and when, decisions were taken. Otherwise we should be working in the dark.
Darkness is where ERYC hopes to hide its doings and dealings from residents and the proverbial man and woman in the street.
Before we can act, we have to know the system, to hold ERYC and government to account.
The past year has been spent in getting to grips with the small print.
Documents, documents, documents!
If you can bring the benefit of your life experience, your work, your skills, your schooling, to bear upon the millions of words that are churned out, on websites and elsewhere, then you stand some chance of deciphering what is being done in your name, and deciding whether you stand to benefit, or not, from decisions taken by ERYC.
It is a fallacy to believe you elect Councillors to represent your interests. These Councillors are as much, if not more in the dark than any of us. They rely upon paid officers to report what should be done. Councillors take officers' reports as a considered judgment on what is best for us the taxpayers.
Regretfully, you need to be disabused of relying upon officers and Councillors. You need to know for yourself just how the system is made to work in the interests of someone other than us, usually.
To help us understand some of these documents and policies GOOLE ACTION GROUP has sought assistance from professionals in their respective fields.
Advice has been taken from an independent practising planner, under the government's Planning Aid scheme (funded by the ODPM to help such communities as ours make a meaningful response to new planning procedures).
We are assisted in matters of procedure. Advised upon steps that should be taken, by ERYC, as much as by us the people, to deal with the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders if we do not agree to voluntarily give up our property.
There is the possibility of appealing, even if a CPO is made against your home.
It takes only one person in each street threatened with demolition to stand against a CPO, for a Public Inquiry to be held into ERYC's proposed plans for "market renewal".
GOOLE ACTION GROUP met with Ian Cawsey, MP and a housing researcher on 7 April to discuss other ways of meeting the renewal of our solid Victorian heritage without losing potential valuable resources that belong to Goole and its residents. Advice is being sought:
- to help the community explore ideas and fine-tune them;
- to foster a partnership and build trust, despite the difficulties to-date of dealing with the local authority;
- to convince the regeneration machine to pause whilst ideas are explored with the community;
- to find a spokesperson to mediate the community's ideas and feelings.
GOOLE ACTION GROUP was recently advised by two eminent sustainability consultants. These professionals came from London for three hours, to meet us, talk about our ideas, and suggest new ideas. They also visited the Phoenix and Richard Cooper streets and saw for themselves the heritage that ERYC plans to demolish. They took photographs of desirable features. Something that ERYC has never considered recording for posterity!
Other priorities for creating a better place to live are being explored. A Manifesto for Streets leaflet has been obtained, setting out policies that help to achieve the transformation of public space and revive urban communities.
The public out there might not yet know this, but government now expects to consult each and every one of us.
On your behalf GOOLE ACTION GROUP made two separate submissions to All-Party Select Committees: 1) Affordable Housing 2) Environmental Audit Follow-Up Report on Sustainable Housing.
The mighty tome that includes six pages of "evidence" on affordable housing, within the context of Goole, thudded through our door last week. You can read what we said on the links page.
The second Memorandum was considered early this year, and will be published very soon.
Both of these exercises involved members identifying points for discussion, and putting their minds to the wider sense of what Goole offers, what it lacks, and why we need to stand up and shout about it, in the corridors of power.
GOOLE ACTION GROUP has also submitted its views on the Statement of Community Involvement in preparation by ERYC planning department to comply with new government planning procedures. If the public is to be consulted, and does not take the opportunity to put forwards its views, then the community of Goole will have no grounds upon which to complain!
For similar reasons, GOOLE ACTION GROUP invited ERYC's officer with responsibility for Local Strategic Partnerships to speak to us, before deciding to formally join the great and the good of the East Riding and register Goole's place and position on ERYC's planet.
There is a non-stop stream of letters being written, complaints (no compliments that can be recalled) and points of view being forcibly expressed - all of these addressed to our supportive MP., to ERYC officers including the Chief Executive, and to the press - both locally and regionally.
If you thought you would never take up the cudgels to defend yourself, your home and your family, then you might think again were your identity about to be rubbed out by the powers-that-be. When residents move from ruled letter paper to A4 pads, then you can work out for yourself that there is a lot more to be said, when the habit takes hold.
Some members of GOOLE ACTION GROUP are linked globally via the computer. It is a tremendous resource, a means of finding information, advice, and support, as well as a weapon for de-constructing the foxy words of ERYC - and winging responses to County Hall in seconds.
JOIN GOOLE ACTION GROUP AND PLAY YOUR PART
Memorandum AH 24 - Written Evidence from GAG to the Housing Select Committee
Memorandum AH 35 - Written Evidence from GAG to the Housing Select Committee
Living Streets - UK campaign for better streets and public spaces
Local Strategic Partnership - Improving the quality of life in the East Riding of Yorkshire