Can’t have it both ways

Poor Councillor Dendle, he doesn’t know which way to turn.

First he claims the Bognor Regis Civic Society is a tiny minority, then he suggests we’re able to influence the whole of Bognor Regis to reject the St Modwen construction proposals.

He can’t have it both ways, either we’re big and influential or we’re not.

And if we’re not (as he claims), what is he worried about?

He has never attended one of our open public meetings or our AGMs at which he would have witnessed our annual and fully-transparent electoral process.

And also that the Civic Society’s comments are nothing more than the expression of our wide membership’s views – who are Bognor Regis people.

This is why our byline is ‘Voice of the People’.

We have simply been encouraging people to complete the council’s forms, bearing in mind the town will have to absorb a further 280 flats but will lose at least 275 car park spaces – and also risks losing the Picturedrome (£2.50 a seat) in exchange for a multiplex (£7.50 a seat).

All this information is either from the council’s own leaflets or in the public domain already.

Our leaflets have said nothing more than that, as we believe Bognor Regis people are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.

If St Modwen walk away it will be because the public have recognised this as being a poor deal for Bognor Regis, and Cllr Dendle should have respect for the public’s views, instead of trying to blame somebody else.

And if newcomer Cllr Hitchins (Letters, Observer, November 22) had been here for more than just six years he would know that CiViC has been proposing a quality scheme for the Town since 2000 which Arun has entirely failed to engage with.

His bombastic statement that if the town doesn’t accept the Arun/St Modwen scheme there will be ‘no regeneration’ is wholly untrue, since everybody knows there are a great many ways this can be achieved at any time in the future.

Not to mention that trying to do this now, at the bottom of the property market, is financially naive, to say the least.

Cllr Dendle threatens ‘a decade of economic malaise’, if we don’t do what they tell us.

The positive way of dealing with this is that if the public decides to reject Arun’s proposals, we should then all work constructively together to find a scheme acceptable to the town and create a way to make it happen.

This is all perfectly possible with a positive attitude from everybody involved.

Negative mud-slinging by these councillors does nothing whatever to help the situation, and reflects only upon themselves.

We recommend they try listening to the people instead of lecturing them.

Hugh Coster

Deputy chairman

Bognor Regis Civic Society