St Leonards woman arrested in peaceful search for secret Link Road documents

April 9, 2013 by combehavendefenders

Emily asserts her right to enter the DfT

Emily asserts her right to enter the DfT

Press Information Note
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
9 April 2013

Search of Transport Department to continue until 5pm today

Department for Transport (DfT) [2], London: A St Leonards woman was arrested by Britain’s tallest policeman yesterday during a peaceful attempt to search the Department for Transport for its secret recommendations about funding for the controversial £100m Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR).

A diverse cross-section of local people – including a jazz musician, a biophysicist and a care worker – have been attempting to enter the DfT yesterday and today to search for, copy and distribute the recommendations, which are being withheld from the public [3].

Emily Johns is arrested by the UK's tallest policeman (7ft 2 in)

Emily Johns is arrested by the UK’s tallest policeman (7ft 2 in)

Artist Emily Johns, of Gensing Road, was arrested for aggravated trespass after repeatedly trying to enter the building.  She was later charged and released on bail.

In an interview with BBC Sussex yesterday [4], East Sussex County Council leader Peter Jones claimed not to know about the document being searched for, in which the DfT has assessed the road as offering low/medium value for money.  Under the DfT’s own guidelines, it should only fund projects which are high or very high value for money, and campaigners believe that it recommended against funding the Link Road [5].

After her release, Emily Johns said, “Honesty and transparency should be at the heart of a democratic system and I feel deeply shocked that such important information is being kept secret from us.  We are certain that the DfT recommended that the Link Road should not be funded, and we have a right to see this information before £100m of public money is wasted on this appalling project.”

[2] Department for Transport, Great Minster House  33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR
[4]  Listen at 1hr 42m. See also our transcript here

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