Land sell-off - Lewes District Council showing an affront to democracy

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Lewes Green Party is calling attention to what it calls “an affront to democracy” within Lewes District Council.

Under the council’s highly contentious cabinet system, decisions on important matters such as the sale of publicly owned property are being made behind closed doors in utmost secrecy by a cabinet comprising six Conservatives and one Ukip councillor.

The council’s own website discloses that the cabinet “makes most of the more important decisions”.

Details of the council’s plans to sell off 49 publicly owned sites for redevelopment only became known after a councillor – not in the cabinet – submitted a Freedom of Information request.

The assets include Saxonbury House on Juggs Road, a facility used by people in need of emergency housing.

The council has shown no intention to replace the facilities, services and jobs that will be lost, nor has it committed to build any social housing on these sites.

“With a minority Tory administration making decisions on behalf of Lewes District Council from behind closed doors, we are clearly not all in this together,” says Alfie Stirling, Lewes District Green Party parliamentary candidate.

“These councillors are unilaterally cutting vital local jobs, failing to provide truly affordable homes, and kowtowing to developers while punishing Lewes residents with unfair Special Expenses.

“Reform is urgent and essential; Lewes Green Party wants a district council that is open and democratic and listens to the concerns of all residents.

On May 7, Lewes Green Party will for the first time field candidates in every ward in the district​.

David Bradford

Press officer

Lewes District Green Party