LETTER: ‘Cut yaboo politics’

OPEN letter to Cllr Dendle, At an open meeting of Arun District Council held in the Civic Centre on Wednesday, September 10, you unashamedly used an important debate about the regeneration plans for Bognor Regis as an opportunity to attack UKIP county councillors.

The debate had been very positive until you stood up, with councillors from across the political divide acting in a very professional manner.

Instead of choosing to make constructive remarks, it all went downhill when you chose instead to waste the council’s valuable time uttering cheap jibes at councillors from another local authority, something that is normally frowned upon, particularly when they are not in a position to respond and defend their positions.

The remarks made by you suggested that UKIP county councillors had tried to block the public realm scheme that was proposed for Bognor Regis. That observation could not be further from the truth. What we tried to do against all the odds was to put forward ideas that would improve what many believe to be a very bland scheme. Three boring strips of paving down London Road is hardly awe-inspiring.

Throughout the process we were kept at arm’s length from discussions and it was only after eight months following our election in 2013 that we were invited to a meeting.

That meeting basically was to present to us the scheme as a fait accompli and was not an opportunity for us to provide 
any input.

More recently, we have tried to influence the plans for Station Square. Recognising that it is in a conservation area, we believed that any new paving should be sympathetic to the surroundings.

Of course this was at odds with what Arun District Council wanted to do and instead of following the protocol of going through the joint western Arun area committee they chose, to their shame, to ignore the democratic processes and go above our heads, recruiting the cabinet member for highways at County Hall to over-rule us. So much for localism!

I do not expect for one moment that the UKIP county councillors will get an apology for your disgraceful behaviour, but the public will judge you on this type of boorish behaviour at the ballot box.

This type of behaviour is just what is driving people away from politics and if we are to engage with the public then we must cut out this yaboo politics.

Graham Jones

West Sussex County Councillor for Felpham

UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bognor Regis & Littlehampton