While Simon Barnes (letters, February 6) wants to admonish Norman Baker about the blame culture, he sees no irony in doing it himself. It can not, however, be said that Lib Dems locally have “twiddled their thumbs” on the issue of parking. Locally, LibDems have been pushing for some sort of parking concession in Newhaven since Kilroy-Silk led Simon’s favoured party.
So please feel free to jump on the bandwagon but don’t try to claim it was yours in the first place.
Mr Barnes also seems to be mis-informed about how much work Norman and the LibDems have put into trying to counter the negatives foisted on Newhaven and trying to get regeneration going. “Not caring a damn” about Newhaven would be more easily laid at the door of the Tories who pushed the incinerator on Newhaven against 16000 local objections; Tories who sold off a recreation ground to build a pie-in-the-sky water park with virtually no meaningful consultation whatsoever; or Tories who want to force “Special expenses” on the people of Newhaven for the upkeep of the green spaces that they took off Newhaven in the early 70s under the premise that economies of scale would make things cheaper. Not that the current Tory group seem in any rush to devolve the assets that they want to charge Newhaven for. Nor are they willing to consider devolving revenue generating assets - like car-parks - to Newhaven so the town council could determine its charges ...or none. Why should Newhaven be subsidising the rest of the district?
Last year, we reached a point at LDC where LibDems and Tories had the same number of seats on the council. LibDems tried to take control so that we might reconsider the special expenses/devolution fiasco. So, in the spirit of change that UKIP want to bring - what precisely did their members do at district? They voted to support the Tories. Change, then, is only when the ultra-violet party want it otherwise its True Blue all the way.
Meanwhile, Norman and the LibDems in Newhaven continue to work to get results for the town. Backing the call to turn Riverside park into a community space for all; negotiating for money for flood protection; welcoming the re-use of the Marine Workshops as a UTC; having talks with the port owners over the beach. At the same time we support the port’s plans on the other side of the river to secure the port’s future and we are also working with cross-channel partners (often in French) to secure the future of the ferry service.
So far, the UKIP talk is of “change” (see above), enthusiasm and doing “things” differently. Does anyone else find this vague and lacking substance?
LibDems have to work in the real world. Thats the way it is. We are getting there.
Cllr Rod Main
NTC/LDC Denton and Meeching