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February 13th, 2017.

Mayor of Newhaven, Steve Saunders writes:

Following my letter to the Leader of Lewes District Council and published in Haven News HERE on January the 6th, I sent invitations to LDC, ESCC, Maria Caulfield and the Coast to Capital LEP, to roundtable discussions over the problems faced in a failing traffic infrastructure in and around Newhaven. I suggested three dates to attend open talks over the future of the road network and other infrastructure problems faced by the public, businesses and the emergency services. I was hoping that a combined approach, with joined-up thinking, rather than the political point-scoring that has blighted the regeneration of our town, would help to maximise the opportunities in the necessary bidding for central government funds that will be required to address the myriad of problems faced by Newhaven.

It is with regret that I have to inform everyone, that I have not received a positive reply from either the County, or District Councils.

Despite a very positive response from the Local Enterprise Partnership and a willingness to attend from Maria Caulfield's office, it appears that the importance of such a meeting and the positive message that this would send, has not been accepted by either the District or County Councils.

The issue of Purdah around the upcoming County election has been cited by the District Council, and East Sussex County Council appears to be concerned about the affect on funding bids for the Port Access Road that they have been pushing for many years. This, despite the Port itself suggesting they have no need for it and it having no bearing on the problems associated with the A259, A26 and C7 approach roads.

I am disappointed and feel let-down by the District and County Councils, as, I am sure are the residents of Newhaven suffering from well-documented problems of air quality and safety, the drivers faced with constant delays getting into and around the town and the businesses suffering through problems of investment and expansion.

I was hoping a combined approach would put the right foundations in place, to ensure a robust and sustained regeneration of Newhaven. A positive future that would benefit both the town and the wider area as a whole.

Steve Saunders
Cllr. Steve Saunders
Mayor of Newhaven