Friday, August 18, 2006

 

THE SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL (WSCC)

A South Downs National Park is not wanted by a massively powerful, unelected little cabal affiliated to the West Sussex County Council, via the Lord Lieutenant's Office based at County Hall - such as the Duke of Norfolk (Arundel Castle), the Duke of Richmond (Goodwood House), other aristocratic landowners in Parham House and Petworth House, and other related 'hangers-on'.

Therefore, a South Downs National Park is not wanted by a not-so-massively powerful, elected Tory cabal which form the West Sussex County Council Cabinet at County Hall.

The trouble is, we (the council taxpayer) are bankrolling both the elected and unelected cabals at County Hall - a fact which strangely escapes the notice of those who should know better.

Also, the trouble is, we (the council taxpayer) appear to be funding such leaflets as "It's Time To Have Your Say - The South Downs" (found in the WSCC Crawley Library), which is yet another 'public consultation' about the South Downs - without the word 'National Park' even being mentioned in the leaflet ! 'They' are trying to use this kind of propaganda to try and persuade us, the people, that a National Park is not such a good idea - because 'they' don't think it's a good idea.

The trouble is we, the people, have already spoken - and we have made it very clear to our elected representatives that we want the South Downs to be a National Park.

"The 1949 National Park and Access to Countryside Act provided the legislation to designate National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
From 1958 to 1983, ten AONB's were formally created in the South East, and in 2002 two new National Parks were also designated. The New Forest National Park Authority has now taken on its full powers, and the South Downs awaits confirmation...we now have the New Forest National Park, and are waiting for the Government to confirm the South Downs as a National Park".
(Source : "The Finest Countryside in the South East" - Leaflet produced by The Countryside Agency)(not found in the WSCC Crawley Library).

"National Park Authorities are also responsible for all planning decisions taken within the Park."

And there's the rub...both the elected and unelected ruling elites within West Sussex County Council will lose their planning powers...and will lose much control and many privileges which they have built up and enjoyed, using our money as taxpayers, for so many years.

Well, this 'gravy train' has to stop - not just because there is an inherently undemocratic system operating at County Hall, but because of the monstrous abuse and misuse of its powers over the years - at our expense.

The West Sussex County Council has simply proved itself unfit to govern.

Comments:
A South Downs National Park would confer certain disadvantages on Crawley in that the loss of local authority planning powers within the park boundaries would place additional planning pressures on those locations outside the park boundaries. This is undesirable as it limits growth options within the South-East. Whether or not we have that growth is a determination made at a level above both West Sussex County and Crawley Borough Councils.

West Sussex County Councillors are democratically elected. In commenting on that system, some people inevitably find it easier to say what they are against as compared to what they are for.
 
You conveniently forget the influence of an 'undemocratic select' at County Hall (eg those emanating from the Lord Lieutennt's Office).

I fear that the first allegience of most "democratically-elected" Tory West Sussex County Councillors is to an 'undemocratic select', rather than their constituents.

Thus, we have Tory county councillors using our money (as taxpayers) to legally oppose a South Downs National Park (et al)
 
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