Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What public relations manual does the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust use?

Recent days has seen various comments being made about the Visitor Centre proposal at Spurn. The public meeting held last Friday  ( yes... only three days ago now ) I felt was a good idea in that it would provide an opportunity to get a lot of the grumbles out of the way. Residents and others came away feeling that the YWT had at last heard about many of the issues which were concerning people. Not all , let it be said, due to time constraints, but such can be raised through other means.

It's never easy managing the timing and procedures of initiatives where polarized views are in place. Yes, it can get personal due to the passionate opinions held by opposing sides.  In this context it is therefore absolutely necessary for all concerned to try and attempt to be completely transparent, to be on the top of communications required and their timing and to be seen to be honest and fair. These principles have either been deliberately rejected or irresponsibly ignored in this instance and set the situation back once again.  It does raise the thought of whether the organizations involved are fit for purpose.

I missed the following news coming out last evening as I'm afraid I'm an early to bed , early to rise person and I'm not best pleased this morning at having , immediately ,to respond to the following and miss out on a sea watching session!!  Just imagine that within three days of an important public meeting a new set of plans emerge that finally show the visual impact of the tower associated with the development and the adoption of a boundary fence that would not have looked out of place around a fortified position in medieval times.


Is this really what the YWT consider apt public relations to be ?  Why was no mention of updated designs becoming available soon made at the meeting?  An announcement simply saying that new designs were imminent, but not yet completed, along with an accompanying apology would have gone a long way towards suggesting that the YWT was finally giving due consideration to the feelings etc of local residents. I suppose one might ask the simple question of why the designs weren't ready for the meeting ?  Such matters, timing and communication are matters that senior management should be in charge of. One can only conclude the issue of the plans by Salt Architects was based on a deliberate decision following their completion. But wouldn't you think someone might just have cautioned against it and suggested such was left for a few days given the seats in the meeting hall were still warm!!!   Incompetence, ignorance or just don't care?

Is this the structure anybody wants in a National Nature Reserve ? Given the apparent emasculation of Natural England in recent times it seems unlikely that any opposition , or even comment, will come from that quarter. From a design/planning viewpoint I'll offer one comment. If the development was centred on the Blue Bell complex the impact of the above "tower" could be minimized by it being sited adjacent to a gable end thus reducing the impression of the vertical impact.  I'm afraid these latest shenanigans, or sheer acts of incompetence,  leave me with a reducing recognition  for the YWT's position. Whatever the reasons behind the timing of these details being released the immediate conclusion of many will be either of incompetence or deliberate manipulation.  Little sympathy can be extended to YWT if a mistake has been made, but it is incumbent on them to make some effort to put things right. An absence of such will provide the answer and confirm what many have accused them of for a long time. Is that what they want?

What I don't want, and more adamantly than before, is the above structure at Spurn in the location suggested. I , too, am now utterly opposed to the location and will work towards it being rejected. As an immediate token of support please sign the petition by simply clicking on this link and entering your signature. Oppose YWT's Visitor Centre proposal.  591 signatures already....... more are needed. Thank you. 
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