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A study of public consultation and participation in local decision-making

Crowther, D; (2005) A study of public consultation and participation in local decision-making. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the potential for participatory decision-making in coastal management and the extent to which present consultation and participation methods are succeeding. A case study of Slapton Sands provides an insight into the reality of decision-making faced by coastal managers at the local level. In recent years the A379, which runs over the shingle bar, has been damaged as a result of its close proximity to the sea. English Nature, local government departments, business owners, holidaymakers and the local population have different views on how this coastal stretch should be managed. The future of the road raises political, environmental, social and economic issues. Whilst the outcome of the road's future has yet to be determined, this paper examines how the decision-making process to date has involved the local community and suggests how the participatory process could have been improved. Coastal managers are facing the challenge of involving local coastal communities in decisions about their futures when managed retreat may become the preferred option from an environmental and financial point of view. Coastal management decisions will require the co-operation, understanding and popular acceptance of coastal communities. Trust and fairness of treatment must be integral to the involvement of local communities in collaborative decision-making. This paper proposes that deliberative dialogue between all interested parties will become increasingly necessary. Dialogue should be a two way process and the aim of any participation process should be to move away from a unidirectional flow of discussion. Harnessing existing communicators such as local business owners could be key to dialogue and consensus building within some local communities. The findings of this research have direct implications for other coastal areas, in terms of managing coastal flooding and erosion now and in the future. The study is also relevant to locally based decision-making exercises outside the arena of coastal management.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A study of public consultation and participation in local decision-making
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566936
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