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November 7th, 2018.

Councillor Steve Saunders writes:

I cannot believe that the Tory administration at ESCC are able to sleep at night. Not only did the Leader reward himself a 30% pay rise after being elected, citing how running a multi-million pound business meant he deserved the hike in pay - he and his inept cabinet have now announced their superb management of that 'business' has resulted in near bankruptcy.

Just a few months ago they gleefully announced a £10 million 'investment' in a locally detested Port Access Road, carving as it's constructed, a scar across a highly-valued natural coastal environment to serve an aggregate plant providing just a few jobs. Over 1500 public objections and protestations by the Town and District Councils were ignored.

They say the money for the road was ring-fenced, set aside many years ago and had to be used for the project to benefit a private company.

Almost a million pounds of Section 106 money was 'ring-fenced' for planting trees, to try and hide their incinerator a few years ago. After spending half of it and running out of places to plant, the legal department of ESCC managed to reassign the money for community projects.

With the financial situation at ESCC so dire, no one can tell me that the same legal experts can't reassign the £10 million being wasted on a few hundred yards of road to provide a paltry number of jobs, to be used to keep essential services running.

Any multi-million-pound business worth its salt, would have sacked the board once it got into such financial distress. As yet the Tory administration has belligerently failed to admit they're at fault, or offered their resignation. I guess they are unwilling to give up their ring-fenced wages of sin too much.

Steve Saunders
Lewes District and Newhaven Town Councillor Newhaven Valley (Lib Dem)