Question 3: Participation process police facility Land Forum
The municipality and the police want to realise a police complex for approx. 2000 police officers and 500 students of the Police Academy at Land Forum. See meerhoven.nl/en/landforum-en for more information. Contrary to the Board of Mayor and Alderman, Residents’ Association Meerhoven is of the opinion that the participation process surrounding this development did not run smoothly at all. What is your opinion about this? What action will you take or has you taken to truly involve residents in the plans?
The SP often contacted residents to clarify the situation. Eventually, at the last council meeting, we submitted motions to conduct an independent investigation into the participation process.
|Participation is extremely important to GroenLinks, and we regret the feeling that this did not go well. As far as we are concerned, the public participation process certainly got off to a false start, and was also started too early in the process. At that time, the plans were still very much in flux, which caused uncertainty and unrest. As a council, we therefore requested an independent investigation, which has since been carried out by ZET. The results of this independent investigation have been shared with the council. The results give a different picture than this question suggests. In addition, GroenLinks itself also entered into discussions with several residents, on location and by e-mail, both residents of Grasrijk and Bosrijk.|
|We went into the neighbourhood with a large group. We rang doorbells and talked to many people. We do not recognise your point of view regarding the public participation process because of the conversations in the neighbourhood. Many people were satisfied. In fact, it often became a point of attention only when we asked about it.|
|The public participation process was very chaotic, both at the start and during the elaboration of the process. As a result, it was insufficiently clear to residents what had been done with their participation and why certain objections had not been addressed. Unfortunately, this has created the impression that public participation was a mere formality and not something that was taken seriously by the municipality. The CDA Eindhoven is very sorry about this. Something like this must never happen again. We have asked the municipal executive to involve the residents in the further development of the plans in order to find a connection with the neighbourhood. And to look together at which objections can still be met.|
|The Ouderen Appel – hart voor Eindhoven agrees with you that during the process, the size of the planned complex increased considerably. In short, during the game the rules have changed. We therefore do not share the conclusion of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that the survey conducted among shoppers in October 2021 can be used as an argument to show that the objections of the focus group are not widely supported by the neighbourhood. On the contrary, the result that no clear conclusion can be drawn regarding a preference should have been interpreted as a recommendation to enter into a new dialogue with the neighbourhood about the new preconditions and to let these be the determining factor in thoroughly investigating the effects of the arrival of the proposed police facility on the quality of life. We also expressed this view in the opinion-forming process last February.|
|This has been discussed at length. The alderman has been approached, partly by 50PLUS, to repeat the process and to do it more carefully. We also went into the neighbourhood to ask for opinions in order to form a more independent picture.|
|ChristenUnie Eindhoven will not respond to the questions that you have put forward, for the fundamental reason that in this day and age – prior to the elections – you can seduce politicians into making any statement if that will bring in votes in his/her eyes. We are in the council on the oath that we have been elected there without ‘charge or consultation’ and committing ourselves in advance to the views of interest groups feels to us contrary to that principle. After the elections, I would like to talk to you to hear what is on your mind.|
|Piratenpartij is participating in the city council elections for the first time. We expect to win three seats and then to be able to dedicate ourselves to giving the citizens of Eindhoven more control and influence. Our commitment is to involve residents in all decisions concerning matters that directly affect their own living environment. We have consulted your website and we cannot but conclude that the entire participation procedure has not gone as we would have liked and the municipality has, in our opinion, shown its bad side. If we are elected, we hereby agree to enter into direct consultation with you, as we too are of the opinion that the say of you as directly involved residents is insufficiently safeguarded.|
|We understand that the residents are not necessarily against the police facility as such. However, dissatisfaction with the participation process and the current plans threatens to lead to (possibly lengthy) objection procedures. It therefore seems pragmatic to us to still organise real participation and to find a solution together with the residents that is supported.|
|The FVD believes that a local referendum should be organised on issues such as these. Residents should not only be able to participate in discussions, they should also be able to decide. In this case, even the participation process did not run smoothly at all and residents did not feel they were being taken seriously.|
|The Partij voor de Dieren believes that a strong local democracy is of great importance. At the moment, initiatives, plans and concerns of residents are not or not sufficiently taken into account in decisions of the local government. If it were up to us, plans like this would not be made for residents, but with residents. Among other things, we want the advisory referendum to have a place in important decisions, and we also want neighbourhood referendums to be made possible.|
|It is abundantly clear that the police have been given a free hand by the municipality and that their entire plan of requirements has been pushed through without the local residents really being involved or the interests of the local residents really being incorporated into the plan of requirements. Let alone that the decisions made in the past, in which firm commitments were also made to residents with regard to Sliffertsestraat, were taken into account.|
Earlier, we as M.A. Schreurs group, have tried to have the civic participation evaluated independently, as well as to request the police to really sit down with the residents to exchange what is important to the various stakeholders and what exactly was agreed in the past, in the sincere desire to come together to an adapted package of requirements that does maximum justice to each other’s wishes and interests. Furthermore, we have submitted a decision to the council to withdraw the decision on the relocation of Sliffertsestraat because it is evidence of improper administration. The decision-making process from the past has not even been taken into account in the current decision-making process.
All 3 of our proposals have been rejected by a majority of the council. We have predicted that this will lead to a delay in the development of the police facility because if the municipality’s efforts remain as they are, a court case will irrevocably be initiated.
The following parties did not respond: