This is the text of the letter received on 16th April 2015 from Councillor Lancaster:

Dear Anne,

Thank you for your e-mail and in response to your comments I would like to highlight the work undertaken when implementing a scheme like Belgrade Plaza.

The Council is well aware of the impact that small changes to the environment can have on those with visual impairments and other disabilities. This scheme has been influenced by consultation and engagement with the various disability groups, including the Disability and Equality Access Panel and the Access Development Group.

Further extensive consultation has been undertaken on the Belgrade Scheme, as with all major schemes, through press releases, several letter drops, advanced warning signs on site and e-mails / meetings with key stakeholders. Most successfully, for three days, we undertook drop-in sessions at a Smithford Way shop, speaking to residents face to face because we recognise not everyone has a computer and can access the internet.

I do feel that our website could be improved to provide more detail on the disruption/changes. I'll liaise with colleagues in Communications to improve this information.

There have been some changes to bus services as part of these works. These changes have been introduced in consultation with Centro and bus operators who are fully aware of the scheme. Advance notices have been put up in the bus shelters on site, giving information on the forthcoming changes. However, due to the tight timescales of this project, we have not had the chance to plan these changes long in advance, and consequently there have been some changes to bus services at less than the three weeks' notice period agreed with Centro.

Given that the Council is working with access groups already, perhaps you would like to have a representative from COV attend these discussion groups to allow for your comments to be included during consultation. If you would like to pursue this course of action please contact Fay Cockayne, (contact details provided).

I am willing to attend your group, with or without Council officers, to answer any other questions you may have about current schemes in the City.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Rachel Lancaster
Cabinet Member, Public Services