Over the past few weeks we have learnt that the A2300 upgrade to the dual carriageway, announced in a big fanfare over four years ago (I know it was four years, I was still a Lib Dem District Councillor when the Tories sprang the news just before the last set of elections), is going to take time to plan to allow for cyclists and pedestrians to use it or a similar route.
How long does it take – the Tories will no doubt tell you they have magically fixed it all, please believe them – not! Seriously, how long does it take to plan a road upgrade to current standards.
We have also been told that Burgess Hill Town Centre is not a shambles and businesses are thriving. Just to prove it, several Tory councillors have their picture taken with a few business owners. About seven or eight owners with their partners, does not make a thriving town centre.
We now know New River, the Tory-run district council’s preferred partners in remodelling Burgess Hill into a little Crawley Leisure Park, is attempting to dump their planning obligation to provide a new purpose-built library and information community hub. They have already been given the much needed and utilised Martlets Community Hall. How much more has Burgess Hill got to bleed before the Conservatives stop.
On top of this and despite the District Plan now having been signed off, the developer ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ (CIL), which is meant to provide hard cash for community facilities, from the housing, will not be seen.
We were told a few years ago in Burgess Hill this would be around £40m. Why? Perhaps it is, as I learnt a few weeks ago, because the Conservative dominated district council hasn’t instructed its planning officers to work on the CIL policy, no policy, no levy, no money!
All this said I think the biggest insult to Burgess Hill and all the residents who voted for her to be their representative, is the repetitious appearance of Cllr Anne Jones talking up Burgess Hill and the bed of roses we are meant to find ourselves living in.
Burgess Hill and long-term former Lib Dem Councillor