Protestors take link road fight to county hall

October 16, 2012 by combehavendefenders

[Note added on 19 Oct 2012: The protests at the County Hall were widely covered in local media, including BBC Sussex and the local papers. The live video feed from the Chamber, archived on the Council’s web-site, has now been edited to remove the protests. A video of the Link Road’s opponents pressing former stockbroker Peter Jones about the Road and the Cuts should be available shortly.]

Press Release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]

Councillors Flee Chamber, Pressed on Link Road & Cuts
Council leader fails to answer questions on priorities & job claims

Tory Councillors fled the chamber during a full meeting of East Sussex County Council (ESCC) this Tuesday (16 October), after coming under fire from local residents over cuts to social services and the £100m Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR).

Campaigners followed Council leader Peter Jones into the corridor outside the chamber, but were unable to get satisfactory answers as to why he has repeatedly exaggerated the number of jobs that will be created by the Road, or why the Council is so determined to spend at least £44m on the Road at the same time as it is slashing vital public services [2].

The walk-out took place following an early-morning demonstration of 70 people outside Lewes County Hall, with placards reading “Cut the Road, Not Social Care” and “£44m Wasted on the Road”.

Abby Nicol, a spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders – one of the groups protesting outside the Hall – said: “Even as it prepares to squander at least £44m of our Council Tax on an environmentally disastrous white-elephant road through the Combe Haven Valley, East Sussex County Council is planning to cut £34m from adult social care, £14m from children’s services and £14m from ‘economy transport and environment’. No-one who cares about either the public purse or the environment can afford to stand idly by while this Road is built.”

Andrea Needham added “I am outraged at Peter Jones’s claims that we protestors want to take away people’s homes and jobs, not least because I personally lost my job because of his council’s cuts. His forecast of 3,000 of jobs created by the Road is over three times that quoted in the Department for Transport’s recent analysis [3]. Moreover, many of jobs associated with the Road would be taken by people outside of Hastings and Bexhill or are existing jobs moving out of town, damaging the town centre economies”.

Combe Haven Defenders are calling on 1,066 people from across the country to “pledge to take part in peaceful resistance to the construction of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road”. The invitation to “Join the Second Battle of Hastings” is being launched this week with a pastiche of the Bayeux Tapestry [4] – featuring Chancellor George Osborne on a bulldozer, anti-road campaigners,  and examples of local wild-life from the Combe Haven Valley – 10,000 copies of which will be distributed at the TUC’s “A Future That Works” demonstration this Saturday (20 October) [5].

Contact 07926 423 033


[2] East Sussex County Council, Report of the Cabinet, 24/7/12

Outside the County Hall, Lewes.

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