THE Chairman of the Independent Sheerwater Scrutiny Panel announced the dates and details of upcoming public hearings on Tuesday.
The hearings form part of the panel’s review procedure, which is investigating the project path of the proposed £250 million Sheerwater regeneration – undertaken by Woking Borough Council – from inception to date.
It covers three main areas; namely process, consultation and actions.
A review of the merits of the proposals remain outside the panel’s remit.
Hearings will take place from Monday, June 1 until Thursday, June 4, with an additional day (Friday, June 5) held in reserve in the event of an overrun.
The discussions follow the recent ‘Call for Evidence’ period, which ended on May 1.
Over the coming weeks, feedback will be scrutinised and, where required, key contributors will be invited to give oral evidence and, if necessary, present further information to support their testimony.
Hearings will be held in the Council Chamber at the Civic Offices.
Themes will be split over the week across the following timetable with exact details to be confirmed:
Monday, June 1, 10am to 4pm: Objectives with evidence to be taken from Woking Borough Council Officers.
Tuesday, June 2, 10am to 4pm: Delivery of objectives with evidence being taken from New Vision Homes and project stakeholders.
Wednesday, June 3, 2pm to 4.30pm: Decision process with evidence to be taken from Elected Members. Then 6pm to 9pm: Outcomes with evidence to be taken from residents and other interested parties (if required and desired).
Thursday, June 4, 10am to 4pm: Outcomes with evidence to be taken from residents and other interested parties.
Friday, June 5: Held in reserve to accommodate further evidence gathering, if required.
The panel say that it may be necessary, for planning purposes, to take some evidence out of turn. In the lead up to the hearings the timetable may be subject to change.
If revisions are made, a new timetable will be produced in advance to inform interested parties.
Interested parties who have not been invited to give oral evidence at the hearings, including the evening session on June 3, and wish to do so, should express their interest by 5pm on Monday, May 18. All expressions of interest should be submitted via email or in writing.
In addition, private appointments will be available at the Parkview Centre for the Comm-unity on June 3 from 8am to 12.30pm. The duration of the private appointments will be 15 minutes and are available for residents to speak with the panel and for those who might otherwise not be able to attend the hearings.
The appointments must be pre-booked and requests should be made to the panel via email or phone by 5pm on May 18.
Speaking about the panel’s choice of venues, Chairman Claire Storey said: “The Council Chamber has been identified as the most suitable venue for the majority of the hearings, based on the venue’s facilities and needs of the panel.
“It has the capacity to accommodate up to 90 people, as well as the ability to provide further viewing space within the venue, and offers increased accessibility through use of its live webcasting function, which will be utilised throughout the course of the hearings at the Civic Offices.
“In the event that the Council Chamber’s capacity is exceeded, the panel will adjourn for a short time and relocate the hearings to the nearby HG Wells Centre, and the sessions will be video recorded and uploaded on to YouTube.
“The private sessions to be held at Parkview Centre for the Community in Sheerwater and the evening session in the Council Chamber aim to provide increa-sed accessibility for interested parties to provide evidence, and the opportunity to participate in the review process.”
At the ISSP Public Meeting on March 16 it was highlighted that some residents faced difficulties getting to and from a town centre venue, particularly the elderly and disabled.
Taking this into account, Ms Storey said: “Following rep-resentation, the panel will put travel provisions in place for the hearings and offer private appointments in Sheerwater.
“Those who require transport to attend are asked to contact the panel with details of their needs, together with the sessions they wish to attend, in order to make the appropriate arrangements.
“Specific details will be finalised according to need and transport must be pre-booked via email or telephone.
“Requests for transport should be made by no later than 5pm on Friday, May 22.”
Interested parties wishing to express their interest to give oral evidence at the Hearings, submit questions in advance and/or pre-book transport, can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 01483 743863, or writing to: ISSP Review, Member Services, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking GU21 6YL.
The evidence collected will be used to inform the report of the panel, which will be submitted to Full Council for its consideration at its meeting on October 22.
For more information about the ISSP, its remit and the process, simply go online to www.woking.gov.uk/issp.