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UPDATE - January 6th 2017.

Newhaven Strategic Partners Meeting under fire.....

Good for you Steve. An excellent letter.

Typical of the attitude of the District Council that I, unfortunately, worked for, for over thirty years, yet again riding roughshod over local councillors and residents.

Denise Funnell


Very well said.

Is it not time for local people take control and call a vote of no confidence?

We have been dictated to and ‘dumped upon’ for far too long.

Happy New Year All

Mr Grumpy


Copy of letter sent to the Leader of LDC:

I have to say that I was appalled to receive an email and associated press release before Christmas, announcing a meeting that had taken place over the future strategic planning of Newhaven. How can Newhaven Town Council not be considered an integral part of such a meeting?

I have recently spoken to both Maria Caulfield and Keith Glazier at events I have attended as the town's Mayor, expressing my wish that all the overseeing authorities and partners get together around the table so-to-speak, to come up with a united way forward over the future of the infrastructure in Newhaven. There has been too much political and personal point scoring going on over the last few years, which has resulted in our town's problems being ignored, whilst plans for housing have been pushed through and permissions for a myriad of waste companies and schools have been plunged into crisis by County mismanagement. I offered to table such a coming together of parties, but it appears that the elected representatives of Newhaven have been ignored again. Indeed, as District Councillors we were not informed of this meeting and only paid lip-service when being advised of a press release after the meeting had occurred.

We have been left with a traffic system in crisis, a school system at breaking point, air quality well below recognised standards, insufficient health provision for the rising number of residents and no investment in open spaces and recreational areas.

A cohesive approach by ALL partners will enable us to send the right message to Central Government, to demand the funds necessary for the level of investment we need.

A small investment of the limited funds available in an uncoordinated way only exacerbates the problem and is evident from this very approach over the past few years.

County has ploughed ahead with plans for its cure-all of a Port Access Road, resulting in a white elephant of a housing and supermarket development, that has now been allowed by the District Council to potentially go ahead without any 106 contributions and much less affordable housing for local people. Lewes District planning has stifled potential projects, based on an outdated view that height should be restricted, yet continually allowed residential creep into our town centre and allowed continuous sub-division of family houses into flats, which has dangerously affected residential roads that have become choked with parking. To add to this, we were recently 'consulted' upon a potential new Tarmac plant at North Quay, by the new County Council contractor, who was advised by ESCC that we would welcome such an investment! An investment that would add directly to our poor air quality problems and indirectly through the thousands of extra lorry movements and increased bridge openings.

Everyone talks about the daily problems of traffic flow through and around our town and this, in turn, puts off the potential investment of new companies that should be delighted to take advantage of our new(ish) Enterprise Zone status.

Our MP still appears to be under something of an illusion that a £75million investment along the A27 - a County investment over the one way system and a new bridge at Exceat - will sort out the traffic flow on the A259 through Newhaven and the long queues into the town from the C7 (Piddinghoe Road) and A26.

It is clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense, or the knowledge of long-time residents such as me and my fellow Town Councillors, that a major scheme is required to overcome the issues faced by thousands of motorists every single day. One that will undoubtedly involve a second bridge to the North of the existing unsuitable swing bridge and a bypass around the town to the North of Peacehaven, and I would suggest, another linking Peacehaven to the A27.

People may argue that another by-pass would isolate the town further, but the problems we face now is the traffic that can't get
through to Peacehaven, Seaford and beyond. The commercial traffic, (most of which is waste-based), cannot move in and out quickly and with the permissions being consistently given for more and more, the air quality and snarling up of our roads is increasing exponentially.

My colleagues and I at Newhaven Town Council have been carefully formulating our Neighbourhood Plan, but wonder what impact it will have in shaping the future of the town that we love so much, when such blatant abuse of power continues. It is difficult as Town Councillors, to justify the actions of District and County colleagues when challenged by residents on an almost daily basis. Our power and influence over the decision-making process only go so far and it is clear at times like this, that we are not considered worthy of a place at the table at 'Strategic Meetings' over our own future.

As District Councillors, we were assured by this administration, that we would be kept informed in a timely manner of anything that was pertinent to us in our wards. I'm afraid that this is another example of your failure to keep a promise.

I am still willing to engage in a round-table discussion over the future of Newhaven, but any decisions and press releases over discussions that have not included NTC, will not be supported or endorsed by us.

Kind regards,

Steve Saunders
Mayor of Newhaven



Is it me? There doesn't seem to be any representation of people at the town level, yet it features representatives from the council that forced the incinerator on Newhaven and from those who have closed the sandy beach and breakwater arm.

I would expect the people of Newhaven to be very suspicious of such an unholy alliance given that experience seems to indicate that these groups do not have the interests of the people foremost in their minds.

If "Delivering key projects" means forcing more unacceptable changes on Newhaven without addressing the problems created by creaking out-of-date infrastructure, then Newhaveners should be worried.

Rod Main
Former Mayor of Newhaven.