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March 4 2014

May I through your media make comment, and ensure people are aware, regarding the proposed axing of the School Crossing Patrol at Denton County Primary School?

Three times in the Sussex Express front page report last week, there was mention that the school "did not meet the criteria" for funding.

It has vulnerable children aged 4yrs - 11yrs crossing Denton Road, which is a local bus route. People park on grass verges opposite Acacia Road, causing 'blind spots' to traffic from both directions. Children cannot be expected to cross unassisted. A child was killed on that road in 2000, and that is why the crossing patrol is there.

What more of a 'Criteria' do we need...another death of a child?

Cllr Pat Ost (Town Councillor, and a Governor of Denton School) wrote to Lead member of ESCC, before Xmas, asking for the 'judgement criteria', making the point that a child was killed in 2000. At a meeting at the school, Pat Ost request again (in front of witnesses) of Geoff Mee, one of the County Assistant Directors of T&E, for full details of the judgement criteria.
Both requests have been ignored, which is extremely discourteous, in response to valid requests from council tax paying residents!

To add insult, ESCC see fit to suggest "volunteers or sponsorship by local companies and organisations" to fund this crossing patrol!  Perhaps ESCC need reminding that they have £900,000 Section 106 monies from Veolia, for granting planning permission for the Incinerator.

That money has sat in ESCC bank account for 5yrs, and is being spent, (not on anything tangible and worthwile for Newhaven residents), but on landscaping and trees!

£25k allocated for Mount Pleasant, and £5k for Denton Drive Wood (Rupert Clubb's letter and map of July 2011, in response to my letter, via Norman Baker).

I pointed out at a Newhaven Town Council meeting that proposed planting of trees on the edge of The Crescent, Mount Pleasant, would not hide the Incinerator from anyone's view. Instead of adding more trees to a wood, and approx 10 trees at the top of Mount Pleasant, (which have not been done following my remark) that leaves £30k unspent in those areas, which could fund the school crossing patrol for 10yrs!.

Veolia have already given funding to various groups in Newhaven, and they are also funding £70,000 for a Skate Park in Peacehaven.

Much as we didn't want an Incinerator in our midst, we cannot blame Veolia. They are already giving back to the community in funding projects.

THE BAD GUYS ARE ESCC.....they have kept the money, given a nice contract to someone to plant hundreds of trees, and maintain them for 5yrs (maintain them ???) they didn't water any of the trees planted throughout a very hot, dry Summer 2013). So, someone has done very nicely out of that contract!

What has Newhaven got?......trees, and a very much needed, and valued School Crossing Patrol to be axed, unless 'someone' volunteers, or a sponsor can be found!

Shame on you ESCC - come clean and tell us what the Criteria is for axing this school patrol - we pay our taxes, we have a right to know!

Thank you
Diane Hall (Cllr. Denton & Mount Pleasant, Newhaven)