LETTER: Pay more tax for active councils

Your letters
Your letters

I would like to make a general concern about the town planning in Burgess Hill by listing some particular local issues.

Arguing from the particular to the general may not be too convincing, but the concern is real.

At a recent public hearing about the neighbourhood plans for the future of Burgess Hill, there were four representatives of development companies pressing for a relaxation of the regulations, and, to defend the interests of the town’s people, just one hired planning expert, together with a councillor.

It appears to be difficult to enforce traffic and planning decisions. An applicant can just ignore them and get away with it.

A request was made to enhance for community use a small green space near St John’s Church in the town’s centre (owned by a council). The response was that the land was being considered by the assets committee of the MSDC presumably with a view to be sold off. It seems that the council must sell off assets to maintain services.

On investigation (my) council tax, which contributes towards the services upon which the town depends, has increased on average by 0.15 per cent per year over the last five years. Yet the costs for running the councils must have risen by more than this.

Perhaps we must pay more tax if we are going realistically to have well staffed, pro-active councils.

Can we not actively plan for our future, rather than, most of the time, be on the defence against self seeking concerns who have the resources and who are pretty ruthless in using them?

DAVID HENWOOD

Oakwood Road, Burgess Hill

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