It was interesting watching the BBC Sunday Politics Show report about Mid Sussex District Council now being a one party controlled council and already the housing numbers are being massaged in the Local Plan – it did not mention the figure has yet to be agreed, is still increasing and forgot to mention the three years of housing already built since the Local Plan exercise started.
As a way to get a true view of local opinion, a fair voting system is needed to promote democratic transparency and even the issue of fewer layers of local Government needs debate.
Mid Sussex has a very easy task in delivering services to residents and of course has sold off its housing, outsourced rubbish collection and running leisure centres. Planning is a process perceived to be consensual and virtually fully delegated to professional staff but when called upon to decide planning applications, councillors’ refusal decisions are often overturned through the appeal process. And could Conservatives produce a Local Plan during its last administration – NO and its last statement was to increase the housing numbers.
Ironically, I was asked to contribute to the programme but was attending a global conference on cycling where the UK barely features. It prompted me to write a vision of cycling for Mid Sussex based upon the discussions at VeloCity. In respect to the Mid Sussex District Council leader statement about scrutiny and audits I wonder how a cycle shelter in Haywards Heath at excessive cost and not ideally located was agreed to and will the Local Plan deliver the chance for every school pupil to cycle to school. There may be discussion but what will be delivered.
It is pretty clear that Conservative complacency has not benefitted cycling in Mid Sussex where a link between Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill has not progressed in 15 years and hardly any pupils ride to Warden Park School as I was able to do in the sixties along the A272.
Lowfield Road, Haywards Heath
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