Open spaces - ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude won’t wash

Cllr Paul Franklin’s letter in last week’s Sussex Express about the open spaces vote illustrates spectacularly why people should be so worried that Lewes district is currently run by the Conservative Party.

He is wrong that the consultation on open spaces resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour of “special expenses”.

Maybe a meeting in Seaford strongly supported the idea, because Seaford stands to benefit, by a marginal amount, from the district council charging such expenses, but the official council consultation produced no such result. In fact the council’s Scrutiny Committee decided the number of responses was so small it could gain no realistic opinion from it.

The point Cllr Franklin chooses to miss is that Seaford is part of Lewes District. Yes, it is the biggest town in the district and perhaps it would help if the district had a more inclusive name, so one town is not thought of as more important than another.

But the nature of a district is that we are all in it together, and this has nowhere been better illustrated than the efforts of district council staff to help residents of Seaford and Newhaven in the past week, dealing with coastal flooding.

Numerous council staff worked tirelessly to deal with floods and the threats – staff who are paid for out of district funds, raised from taxpayers as far from the sea as Newick, Wivelsfield, Plumpton, Ringmer, etc.

That’s why we are a district, where we support each other rather than take an “every man for himself” or “what’s in it for me” approach.

The Conservative Party, which he represents, has never lost its tag of “the nasty party”.

Cllr Stephen Gauntlett