A CONSULTATION on a wide range of public health issues has been slammed as “horrendously bad” by a Thurrock councillor.
Thurrock Council is renewing its Health and Wellbeing Strategy, a wide-ranging document on a par with the local plan.
Subjects covered include residents’ personal health, their longevity and community wellbeing, but a consultation which runs until December was dismissed at a health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny meeting as full of jargon and way too long.
Councillors heard residents were having to spend up to an hour to complete it and so far there have been only about 60 responses.
Speaking at the meeting last Thursday, Victoria Holloway, Labour councillor for West Thurrock and Stifford, praised the strategy saying “it’s a brilliant bit of work and really needed to be done” but she said: “The consultation itself and the wording, it absolutely isn’t written for residents.
“It’s jargony. It makes sense that it was written by someone from the council.
“There are questions like ‘Do you agree with the aim of this domain?’ and ‘Do you agree with this topic area?’
“Even the headings are very jargony.
“It could have just said health and your community and jobs. It hasn’t been written for a resident and that’s a real shame.”
Ms Holloway added: “I think it’s a missed opportunity.
“I know residents would love to feed into this but if they were advised to click on this it’s just really off-putting and I don’t see as many responses as possible unfortunately because it is just bad. Horrendously bad.”
Hearing how long it takes to fill out the survey, Ms Holloway said: “Who has got an hour to fill out a survey?
“We’ve just missed an opportunity to really, really condense every topic into a couple of questions.
“It’s a real missed opportunity to engage with residents.
“Ten minutes tops is how you want to be doing it, not an hour. It’s not going to happen.”
The consultation is being supported by Healthwatch Thurrock and Thurrock Community & Voluntary Services.
A report to councillors said: “The aim of the strategy is to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Thurrock and reduce health and wellbeing inequalities.”
“A community equality impact assessment will underpin the strategy and mitigate the risk of disproportionate negative impact for protected groups.”