DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL, your slogan is “altogether better” so I want to ask you, why did you make this decision about your new headquarters on your own? Why didn’t you involve us? Why did you exclude us?

If you’d bothered to ask us we might have surprised you.

You’d have found out that most people actually agree with you – we do need a new county hall – but not this one.

If you’d bothered to ask us we might have surprised you and come up with a much better idea.

But you didn’t involve us at all and that’s why people are angry and will continue to be angry for a very long time.

You say you consulted us, but it was too little too late – just within the letter of the law and no more. No public consultation at a formative stage, no discussion in Area Action Partnerships, no “let’s take a step back and think again”.

It should have been a case of altogether better but instead thousands of people across the county are asking themselves how a few people have been able to force such a bad decision on so many?

Did you forget that you are accountable to us, the people you serve? In the future please don’t exclude us. Involve us from the start. We may surprise you.

Elaine Denby, Durham