Return of the trees! (Tues 12 Feb, outside the next ESCC meeting in Lewes)

February 11, 2013 by combehavendefenders

Picture: Lorna Miller

Picture: Lorna Miller

Join us on Tuesday 12 February outside the next full meeting of East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to demand that they cut the Road, not trees & services!

9-10am, Tuesday 12 February (date of the next Full Meeting of East Sussex County Council), County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes BN7 1UE.
Photo call at 9.30am.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/415219581898192/

CH BusA free early morning “Combe Haven Bus” service will be running from Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill. Times below. Contact 07766335506 to book your place.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) wants to spend up to £70m of our money on the Bexill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) at the same time as it is cutting the county’s budget by £70m – including £34m from adult social care and £14m from children’s services.

Council leader Peter Jones has accused the Road’s opponents of being “a serious threat to our democracy” and wants us to “just shove off”.

At 9.30am we will stage a photo call outside the Hall, involving branches and foliage from the trees felled to make way for the Road, and (a stand-in for) Peter “The Axe” Jones. Bring your own tree costume if you have one!

Those able to stay are encouraged to go in and observe the Council meeting itself, which will begin at 10am. (When the ESCC cabinet met in December it agreed to increase its spending on the BHLR, at a meeting from which the public was excluded, and the minutes withheld).

“Combe Haven Bus” timetable

A free early morning “Combe Haven Bus” service will be running from Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill. Times below. Contact 07766335506 to book your place.

Hastings station 7.30am
St Leonards Warrior Square station 7.40am
Bexhill (Little common road, south side, opp. the old Viking Fish Bar): 8am
Return from Lewes at 11am.

Please be on time as the bus won’t be waiting for stragglers!

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Press Information Note
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
7 February 2013

RETURN OF THE TREES: LINK ROAD OPPONENTS TO PICKET COUNTY HALL WITH BRANCHES FROM FELLED TREES
Local residents demand East Sussex County Council cut Hastings Link Road, not trees & services

9 – 10am, Tuesday 12 February, outside Lewes County Hall: Opponents of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) will be staging a picket and photo call outside County Hall in Lewes next Tuesday (the date of the next full meeting of East Sussex County Council), using branches and foliage taken from the trees felled to make way for the Road, and a stand-in for Council leader Peter “The Chainsaw” Jones [2].

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) wants to spend up to £70 million of public money on the Road, at the same time as it is making cuts to its budget of £70m [3] – including £34m from adult social care and £14m from children’s services.

Council leader Peter Jones has accused the Road’s opponents – who include Greenpeace, the RSPB, and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England [4] – of being “a serious threat to our democracy”, yet when the ESCC cabinet met in December it agreed to increase its spending on the BHLR at a meeting from which the public was excluded, and the minutes withheld [5].

Andrea Needham, a spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders, said: “A sustainable regeneration strategy for Hastings could create between 1,000 – 2,500 jobs for a small fraction of the £100m the Council wants to spend on the Link Road [6]. This is more than the total number of jobs that the Link Road will produce according to the Department for Transport (DfT), 40% of which are predicted to go to people from outside the area [7]. Moreover, though work has already begun on the scheme with the felling of trees in the valley, the Council has yet to get final funding approval from the Central Government. We need to ditch this environmentally disastrous white-elephant project before it’s too late.”

NOTES
[1] http://www.combehavendefenders.org.uk
[2] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/return-of-the-trees-tues-12-feb/
[3] See https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/1056/
[4] See https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/green-and-conservation-groups-ceos-visit-camp-condemn-link-road-plans/
[5] https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/901/
[6] “New Jobs without New Roads: Sustainable Regeneration in Hastings”, 2001 report by CAG consultants commissioned by Friends of the Earth. http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/new_jobs_without_roads.pdf
[7] According to the DfT, the BHLR will generate 900 new jobs (DfT: Final BHLR Assessment, March 2012.). It is predicted that 40% of these will go to people outside the area (http://www.persona.uk.com/bexhill/ESCC_docs/Witness-04/ESCC-04_02.pdf), leaving only 540 for local people. 

Road contractors fell the trees at Decoy Pond Camp on 30-01-2013. Photo copyright Adrian Arbib.

Road contractors fell the trees at Decoy Pond Camp on 30-01-2013. Photo copyright Adrian Arbib.

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