I've now had a chance to read the VEC report and have started to write my submission. I wonder though whether in the VEC's eyes groups like BRAG aren't part of the problem rather than the solution. Reading certain sections of the VEC report more closely gives rise to the interpretation that well-resourced, vocal and local groups which take issues beyond single ward boundaries are in fact strengthening the argument for a broader approach and larger multi-councillor wards. Also, if you look at certain sections of the report(I think around page 17 ):
"... both people supporting redevelopment and people opposing it may be found within one area..." and "... Other communities of interest (e.g.
people concerned about development ... are distributed throughout the municipality rather than being concentrated in particular localized areas." The no-development lobbyists are mentioned a couple of times in the report and part of my new submission highlights the fact that by far most planning issues are in fact highly localised. The railway station and junction are the very examples the VEC is hinting at to stress the need for minority or external views to become audible through multi-councillor wards - local opposition but broader need. The VEC would argue the local voice, which is also expressed through a single ward councillor who gets unduly pressured and lobbied, needs to be broadened to incorporate broader community need.