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ESCC Wide-shot Campaigners

Opponents of the BHLR made their presence felt when ESCC met at Lewes Town Hall.

Refusing to “shove off!”

Local people opposing the planned Bexhill Hastings Link Road are not complying with leader of East Sussex County Council Peter Jones’ suggestion that they ‘shove off!’.  Groups and individuals approaching the issue from a number of different perspectives continue to use their skills and ingenuity to campaign peacefully on behalf of what they value, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick.

Felled tree outside Town Hall.

Felled tree outside Lewes Town Hall

Local opponents of the road peacefully congregated outside Lewes Town Hall on Tuesday 12 February, talking, singing, listening to speeches and, finally, delivering a 3-metre section of one of the felled trees to the council.

A spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders said: “Today, the trees of Combe Haven have come back to haunt East Sussex County Council, just as this environmentally-disastrous £100m road will come back to haunt the council unless it does an urgent rethink.”

BHLR placardThe cuts to local services were on many people’s minds, with concern about the money being spent on a road when it could be spent better elsewhere.

Crowhurst campaign gathers momentum 

Some people in Crowhurst thought there was nothing left to be done in opposition to the road and were disheartened after a long campaign.  However, recently a new sense of empowerment and initiative has arisen.  About 70 people met at the local Village Hall on Saturday 9th February, including speakers from Hastings Alliance, Combe Haven Defenders, Bexhill Link Road Resisters (BLINKRR), a local ecologist, the Crowhurst Society and the Crowhurst Battlefield Association.

Crowhurst meeting

Some 70 local residents attended the Crowhurst meeting.

High on the agenda were ecological issues and recurrent flooding, the cost to the environment for the sake of immediate individual profit, the withholding of the Department for Transport’s recommendations regarding the Link Road, the involvement of Trinity College, Cambridge, as a major land-holder (Bidwell B Holdings) in North Bexhill, the claim that the area is the site of the Norman Invasion and 1066 Battlefield – and the discrepancy in claims about the number of local jobs to be created.

Those present at the meeting unanimously resolved to continue the fight against the road at a follow-up open meeting at Crowhurst Village Hall on Saturday 23rd February, from 4-6pm.

Peter Jones’ reply

Peter Jones replied to me about the claim there had been a private meeting of ESCC to agree extra funding for the road.  The council has the right to meet in private, excluding the press and public, he explained, to safeguard their negotiating position, ‘as specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972 [as amended]’.  The agenda for the meeting was published on ESCC’s website and so the meeting took place with public knowledge.

The Bexhill Hastings Link Road continues to be a contentious issue, both locally and nationally.

Informative Corporate Watch article here.

To find out more information:

Combe Haven Defenders here.

Hastings Alliance here, including details of non-released funding from Department for Transport.

BLINKRR [Bexhill Link Road Resistance] here.

To read other HOT articles and readers’ comments, put Bexhill Hastings Link Road into the HOT search box.

 

 

Posted 10:56 Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 In: Home Ground

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