LETTERS: Playground politics on display

Grateful thanks to Paul Dendle for a classic illustration of the playground politics for which the Tories in general and Arun District Council in particular, are so despised.

I was twice admitted to St Richard’s during the election and unable to walk more than a few yards – and you call that boasting.

A serious proposal to remove an expensive and unpopular tier of local government is rubbished as a ‘lecture’ or ‘silly rant’.

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The astonishing result in Nyetimber was certainly no vote of confidence in me, but a damning indictment of the arrogance and failure of the ruling junta.

Why aren’t I working hard to beg a few more pounds back from Brussels? Because my time is better spent trying to stop the money being thrown away in the first place, along with another £31m every day in ‘aid’ to China, India, etc. That would fill a few potholes.

You raise, yet again, the issue of councillors’ expenses, while claiming to know what I do or don’t do 
to earn mine.

Based on a 40-hour, 50-week year, it works out at £5.57p per hour, less tax.

That’s 74p less than the legal minimum wage and frequently involves evening and weekend work.

All the recent increases were eagerly and unanimously grabbed by the Tory majority at County Hall. I accepted the one per cent on allowances, but have rejected in writing the increased fuel allowance and I do not claim subsistence, nor am I ever likely to.

In the matter of unadopted roads, in one of which I live, I can respond to your points and Iaian Balch’s as follows, (with thanks to Iaian for his positive remarks).

After a mere eight months in post, I have enormous respect for Mike and Christina Coleman, who jointly clocked up somewhere in the order of 20 years. My wife and I introduced ourselves to them after the quadrennial service and enjoyed a very amiable conversation.

However, when I asked Mike if there were any particular issues he would like me to pursue, any advice or contacts he would care to offer, I drew a blank.

I cannot quote precisely, but the gist was that they were both sick and tired of politics and glad to be walking away.

In a word – disinterested – and who could possibly blame them?

It would have been an advantage to me and the people of Nyetimber, though, to have had some handover of accumulated wisdom.

I can certainly empathise with their health issues, which won’t, I hope, prevent them from enjoying their well-deserved retirement. I spent Christmas in St Richard’s and, though I would rather have been elsewhere, I can’t fault the care I received from the ambulance, A&E and acute medical unit staff.

Useful, first-hand research for a member of the health and adult social care select committee.

A few voters find petty squabbles amusing, but the vast majority would prefer factual, reasoned debate; something to which you might aspire in any future correspondence.

Tony Sutcliffe

WSCC member for Nyetimber