Sunday, 15 March 2020

Aruns LibDem Coalition left us vulnerable to the crisis

My first blog post for some time, for the last 6 months my time has been taken up  with problems with my business caused by the uncertainty caused by Brexit. This has resulted in the difficult decision to close the business and move on.  From adversity comes opportunity and I will be starting a new career soon.

I am proud to announce that I was elected Deputy Leader of the Conservative group at Arun District Council last Thursday and I will be using my skills to introduce a number of strategies in support of our group and our leader Terry Chapman.

Arun District is currently controlled by a coalition of the Lib Dems, some Independents and two Green Councillors.   The Lib Dems have been very factional and are split several ways, there has been differing opinions with their Independent allies and a general feeling of confusion. The Officers at the council have had to spend many hours acting as Social workers whilst policy is worked out between competing factions ,

This has resulted in a dog's dinner of mixed messages and half baked policies and the very good financial position that the Conservatives have left last year has been trashed.  Policy is being made on the Hoof and there are many statements of intent, but no business cases to back these up.

The Conservatives delivered the wonderful new Wave swimming and sports leisure centre at Littlehampton, they managed to do this without borrowing any money, using some of the reserves to finance the centre.   The new Leisure contract with Freedom leisure which in proved all the districts leisure facilities gave a net saving of £1m per annum which was earmarked to rebuild those reserves over the short and medium term.

The LidDems over the last decades have critised us whilst in opposition for our strong financial stewardship of the Council (see below), they said we were too caustious, we should spend more and tax more, but we kept to our principles of ensuring that we drove efficiency and reduced staff to deliver services in a different way,  EG we did more for less.

Cllr Matt Stanleys LibDem Cabinet member post last year
saying the Conservatives Should spend more, the
term “Dead Money” now seems exceptionally foolish

The budget the Coalition issued this February is already wildly redundant, they threw caution to the wind by committing to more spending and a higher than necessary tax rate of 2.7% compared to the Conservative County Council that kept with a 2% increase.  They muddied the message by blaming the County Council and Central government for revenue loss, but we have never had to resort to this in the last 47years.

But with the advent of the CoronaVirus pandemic we can now see that strategy in its full light, we as Conservatives had conserved the Councils financial position for the rainy day when and if they came, that day has now arrived, but the LibDem Coalition have left us in a perilous financial position, I dread to think what the financial position will by the end of the year.  There will either have to be a massive tax increase and or a cutting of services. The leader of the Council has already indicated that they are thinking of getting rid of the weekly refuse collection (Under the guise of a food waste pilot).

 Many residents only come into contact with the Councils services when they have their bins emptied or they apply for planning permission, many other worthwhile services are hidden until they go,  many of these services will be compromised!

My message to you is this there is a real possibility of an implosion of Arun District Councils services and the LibDems have only been in power for 10 months, its a sobering thought as we all think how we will be able to pay our bills, rather than getting Council tax holidays, the District Council will have to bring tax in to cover the above.

until next month.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Arundel Bypass Options and consultation

Well, the ‘anti-bypass’ brigade have 
achieved what we all feared - that is, 
the prospect of a full double carriageway 
through the centre of historic Arundel.  
With the help of the SDPA (South Downs 
National Park) Chairman Margaret Paren, 
OBE and Emma Tristram’s (Binsted) 
judicial reviews, we have the devastating 
threat of a full-blown dual carriageway.

I always thought the mythical purple route 
was a Trojan horse for an online dual 
carriageway when over 70% of the 
population want an offline bypass. 
Highways England (HE) have been less 
than honest in putting forward the two 
online options (Beige and Cyan) as the 
government never asked them for an 
offline solution.  

So my advice to everyone filling out the 
consultation document is put neither when 
asked to choose between Beige and Cyan.

Of the four other routes, the Grey route is 
far too expensive,and more importantly, 
goes too close to Walberton so this seems to 
be an obvious route to reject out of hand.

The Crimson route (old Pink Blue) will 
never get built as it contravenes the 
government's own rules and the Secretary 
of State would not  able to choose this by law.

So that really just leaves two options: 
Amber and Magenta. Looking closely at 
these options, on balance, I would opt for 
Magenta as it skirts the SDNP and only 
sacrifices 3.51 hectares of ancient woodland 
(remember HE have confirmed they would 
plant new trees at a ratio of 8-1 for 
woodland sacrificed) .  

It is not ideal, but it’s the least worst and if 
we can get the junction at Ford Road that 
only caters for south bound traffic to and 
from Littlehampton to protect Yapton Lane 
and Walberton, but also to create enclave 
around Ford Road and surrounding streets 
with no through traffic (ie. no junction to 
the north to Arundel) then I think this 
will get majority consensus across the area.

But the really important thing is that you 
give your views and don’t let the 
malcontents stop the bypass.  

Unfortunately, the Judicial reviews and 
the new consultation has now pushed back 
delivery of the bypass to 2026 (four year 
delay) thanks to the Chairman of
 the SDNPA, Margaret Paren, OBE who has 
successfully avoided public meetings and 
interviews (and is also unelected) and 
worst of all does not think she is subject to 
public scrutiny!
Route Options.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Arundel Riverbank work coming

River Arun.

The long awaited  £4.7M Arundel river bank repairs 
to the River Road are due to commence in October 
this year, I'm not sure every householder in the 
surrounding area realises the disruption this might 
cause especially to parking places in Arun street.
Work on the scheme is due to start on Monday 
21 October 2019 and will last until 28 May 2020. 
It will comprise 4 separate parts:

a.       River Road – 21 Oct 19 to 28 May 20

b.      Fitzalan Road Wall – 5 Nov 19 to 10 Feb 20

c.       The Embankment near the Southern Water Ford Road 
Pumping Station - 6 Apr 20 to 30 Apr 20

d.      The Embankment at the southern end of Fitzalan Road
– 29 Apr 20 to 20 May 20

The traffic implications of the scheme, particularly regarding 
the access to the River Road works by heavy transport. The 
contractors, Team Van OOrd (TVO), have produced a draft 
transport plan, but although the first version was written in 
February, there has so far been very little local coordination.

Thanks to Town Councillor Tony Hunt and  Derek Waller 
(Town Councils Flood Advisor), they are  trying to ensure 
that the inevitable adverse impacts on the Town’s roads 
and parking arrangements are minimised. Tony and Derek 
had a meeting with the EA and TVO in July in which they 
raised a whole series of points, and I am pleased to say 
that EA and TVO have agreed to re-write the draft 
transport plan.

The objective is to ensure that traffic disruption is avoided 
where possible, whilst accepting that the advantages of this 
£4.7m scheme are too good to miss, especially the River 
Road element.

The main contractors’ site will be in the lower Mill Road 
Car Park, with supplementary sites in the River Road Car 
Park and in Arun Street Garden. As a result, the River Road 
Car Park will be out of use for the duration of the project, 
and there will be parking restrictions in Arun Street and at 
its junction with Tarrant Street. There will also be periodic 
disruption to traffic in Surrey Street as well as in the lower 
end of Tarrant Street. Later on there will inevitably be some 
disruption to traffic and parking in Fitzalan Road and in the 
Malthouse Close car park.

I am highlighting the issue for individual house and car 
owners, as well as the community at large, everyone needs 
to be aware of the project’s implications, eg forewarned is 

Until Next Month, Paul Dendle is the Arundel & Walberton 
District Councillor on Arun District and also the Economic 
Spokesperson for the Conservative group. His email is 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

August Sussex Local article

Interesting times at Arun District Council, we the 
Conservative opposition are setting the pace and 
challenging a number of bewildering decisions as 
well as holding the LibDem Cabinet’s feet to the fire.

I have met with the Green Councillors and am working 
closely on some shared objectives, cross party working 
is something new , but although we don’t agree on some 
fairly important things, we do agree on a lot and I’m 
pleased to work with them.

At a recent Overview Committee we were vigorous in 
asking questions and putting down recommendations. 
I managed to get the Recycling target increased from 
40% to 50% (This was passed unanimously) and the 
building target for Councils own  stock increased from
 25 homes per annum to 35 homes per annum. 
(This would have been unanimous Independents and 
Greens supported it but 3 Lib Dem councillors voted 
against this).

Lib Dem’s in the past have been notorious for not turning 
up to meetings, it has been discovered that some Cabinet 
members had not met with their officers a good month 
after taking up position, bearing in mind they are being 
paid a Special responsibility allowance to be Cabinet 
members and should be doing the job properly.

We have also heard some worrying things that may happen, 
there is the desire by the Lib Dem Cabinet to re-open the 
Local plan, this could cost between £1M-£2M and suck up 
valuable  officer time for the next 3-4years.

There was also a large scale consultation about to take 
place in Bognor Regis regarding The Sunken Gardens
redevelopment,  The LibDems want to cancel the 
consultation at a potential cost of £320k, my groups 
attitude is that the consultation should go ahead as there 
is nothing wrong with asking people want they want.

With the Cabinet system you should have collective 
responsibility where as the Cabinet speak with one voice, 
but the Lib Dem’s deputy leader Francis Oppler has voted 
against the leader in a  recent meeting giving the impression 
of a Cabinet in chaos. Francis Oppler has desires to be leader 
and appears to be undermining the Leader James Walsh 
for personal ambition.

The first real Full Council is on the 17th of July, I write this 
column around the 7th of the month, so I  will report the 
outcome of that meeting in next months article.

Until next month,  Paul Dendle is one of the Arundel & 
Walberton Ward members and is the spokesperson for the 
Conservative group on the economy. His email is 

Thursday, 18 July 2019

landmark motion to ensure Aruns Housing is made Green

Wednesday the 17th Full Council, Arun Conservatives put forward a landmark motion regarding green measures for Housing

Arun Conservative Group: Conservatives landmark motion to ensure Aruns Hous...: The Conservative group put a motion to Full  Council last night which was ground breaking,  we agreed to an amendment to that mot...

Monday, 24 June 2019

Green future for Arun?

Green blue.

Arun met for the first full council on the 16th
of May,the coalition is now formed, made up
of 22 Lib Dem’s 7 independent and two
Green Councillors. The Conservatives with 21
Councillors  are in opposition and have formed
a group of spokespeople to speak on different
portfolios. I am the spokesperson for the
economy which would include issues like the
Arundel bypass, the Arundel Chord (a rail link
for the Arun valley line to connect for traffic to
the east), economic and business development.

As you know I've always been interested in
protecting the environment I'm a green
Conservative, advocating environmental issues
from a centre right perspective(Green Blue).
I believe there's now opportunity to push
forward policies that help the environment
unlocking changes for the next 20 or 30 years.

There is talk by Arun’s Cabinet of declaring a
Climate Emergency.

My attitude is talk is cheap,rather than pointless
gesture politics by declaring a climate

we need practical policies to make our district

I would advocate that now we have the local
plan we give supplementary guidance to
builders for environmental improvements on
new houses, we should be building houses
with PV solar panels, improved insulation,
community ground source heat pumps and
places forrecycling bins to be stored within
the design.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is and
I have a motion going to full Council on the
17th of July asking the Council to implement
all the above. I fully expect the LibDems to
support the motion, but this will put them to
the test.

I am also advocating for Coastal lagoons to
store tidal water and  generate electricity
at key points in the day at 6pm where you
get a bigger bang for your buck.

We need more cycle paths especially the one
along Ford road and a new car park at Ford
station to utilise an underused asset to reduce
commuting by car.

But as a committed environmentalist I also
support an offline bypass to ensure cars can
drive at the most environmentally beneficial
speed and taking traffic away from our towns
and villages.

As I’m writing this I’m about to attend a
briefing by Highways England regarding the
different routes, the key issue with the Arundel
bypass willbe making sure there's a junction to
the south at Ford road  to alleviate any need
for traffic to go up and down Yapton lane,
also ensuring its far enough away from Walberton.

The Binsted demonstrators have ensured that
Option 3(Pink Blue)  can not now be built as
the Secretary of State can not choose that
route if there is an another route which
sacrifices less ancient woodland.

Until next month
Paul Dendle is one of the Arundel and Walberton
District Councillor on Arun District,
his email: cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk
and website is pauldendle.org

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Friday, 17 May 2019

Sunday, 5 May 2019

The People of Arun have spoken

Arun Local Elections.
The election results are in and the people have spoken.  Politics at Arun are changing and, as your Councillor, I want to do my best for you, but firstly I have to say thank you for all those who have voted for me. I hope I can repay your trust with hard work and dedication.

I was elected with my colleague, Grant Roberts. Unfortunately my colleague, Robert Wheal, was pipped at the post by the Green Candidate by 32 votes. Robert worked particularly hard on the campaign, so my heartfelt thanks to him.

My thanks also goes out to all those in the team who worked hard on the election, in particular to our agent, Gary Markwell and Chairman Geoff Thorpe.

I have always put my heart and soul into being a Councillor, but I have to admit that I didn’t really work very hard at this election due to Theresa May and her handling of politics at a national level.

I really want to see the Prime Minister move on and allow a different leader to be installed.

Analysis on a District level is broken down as follows: Arun's Conservative group was reduced from 42 Councillors to 21, losing overall control and because the Lib Dems were the largest group at 22 members, it allows them first crack to form an administration.  There were 8 Independents, 2 Greens and 1 Labour candidate making a total of 54 Councillors.

The electorate have given the Conservatives in Arun and nationally a kick up the backside, This proves democracy works, however, without taking away the achievement of the Lib Dems there were a lot of wild promises made locally, particularly in Bognor Regis.

They now have an opportunity to form an administration at Arun. Whether they step up to the task is still yet to be known. A test of their competence will be if they can form an administration that works, but we know that Lib Dems tend to tax more and spend more, so as tax payers we have to worry about what they do with our money.

Also, they have been very poor at turning up to meetings and scrutinising the Council's business. It is easy to grandstand at Full Council meetings when the press are there, but not so easy to turn up on a rainy night and do the hard work.  Will their attendance record improve? Again the jury’s out on that.

Arun’s Conservatives have managed the finances very well with good balances and working within budgets. Will the Lib Dems do this? Or will they spend monies recklessly and damage the current good financial position?

One thing you can be assured of is we, the Conservative group, will scrutinise them and ensure democracy works to the benefit of the taxpayer.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Vote for my petition to solve the Brexit crisis

I have decided to promote a petition to get round the shocking lack of political leadership by Westminster

My petition would allow us to leave tomorrow, The DUP would support it and even some of the hardline Brexiteers could, as well as many Labour MP's in leave constituency's

“Join EFTA (Norway) now for max of 2yrs whilst we negotiate FreeTradeDeal with EU”


Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Candidate for Arundel & Walberton Ward

Blue Flag Beach at Littlehampton.
I am standing again for the Arundel & Walberton ward as your Councillor, I have been a Conservative Councillor since 2003 and worked hard for the residents of the Arundel and Walberton ward.

Because of Brexit and Theresa May,  I know a lot of voters have little time for the Conservative party,  and there is a movement to punish all Conservative Candidates for the PM's actions. This I fully understand, I do not support Theresa May and have been very critical of her as Conservative leader.

My record stands on its own merit, but I would say vote for the Candidate and not necessarily for the party.  

My personal manifesto is as follows

1)  Support and lobby for an offline Arundel bypass with a junction for Ford Road to help with the Yapton Lane Junction

2)  Keep the weekly refuse collections and boost Recycling

3)  Control Over development and support affordable Housing for our young people

4)  Support Sustainable Public transport, create a new free car park at Ford Railway Station

5)  Create a new cycle/footpath along Ford Road for Ford our children who walk and cycle to the station

You have a vote, if you think I have done a good job then please vote for me, if you don't then vote for one of the other Candidates, but most importantly vote!

Friday, 3 August 2018

South Downs National Park Authority Judicial review

Margaret Paren SDNPA Chairman.
I was not surprised at the recent news that the SDNPA has decided 
to use public money to start a Judicial review to challenge the decision 
made by Highways England to recommend route 5a .

The meeting was held in secret, the anti road campaigners got 
advance notice of that meeting and also got advice of what happened 
at the meeting and knowing the decision before any of the general public, 
eg collusion between the Authority and anti bypass supporters.
 (I have proof on all this)

The reason I wasn’t surprised is because the Chairman Margaret Paren, OBE. 
After taking early retirement became involved in the Campaign for the 
Protection of Rural England (CPRE).  CPRE were paramount in ensuring 
that the SDNPA park border was moved to south of the A27 rather than 
using that as a natural border of the park.

One Arundel has recently carried out a Freedom of information request 
and a huge number of documents have been supplied showing and proving 
collusion between the Park Authority and SCATE and key 
environmental campaigners,

All these documents have now been passed to the Highways Englands 
lawyers to enable them to robustly challenge the Judicial review.

SDNPA had many private meetings with Highways England and were 
kept abreast of the entire consultation process and had plenty of time and 
opportunity to input to that process, so to then turn around and challenge 
the decision that was so widely supported by the local community is 
disrespectful to local feelings.

Margaret Paren has been in position for over 8 years, she is not elected 
but was appointed by the Brown Government back in early 2010.

All local councils (Who have a democratic mandate) at all levels County 
(WSCC), District (Arun & Horsham), Town and Parish have all supported 
route 5a apart from Walberton who were against and Lyminster who were 

So when there is proof that the  Authority has been partisan and has
 been meddling and undermining the will of the local population, 
I think the person at the head of that Authority should take responsibility, 
so Margaret Paren should consider her position.

I believe the SDNPA does not serve the needs of the local population, 
Storringtons air Qaulity is truly awful and has caused by HGV’s rat running
 through the Downs to avoid the Arundel Bottleneck.  It is in the 30 most 
polluted cities (Storrington is not a city but joins many cities in that 
enviable position) 
So you wonder why SDNPA is expending so much energy and public funding
 fighting the HE decision when they should be worrying about the Air Quality
 in Storrington.

Until next month

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Dog Fouling

I know a lot of residents are dog owners and passionate about their dogs, It has been written that there is no greater bond between a dog and it’s owner, but there are a number of irresponsible dog owners and this is evidenced by the number of dog fouling incidents in Arundel and surrounding villages, making life hell for some in our communities. In a recent Arun press release  it was stated that “Arun has some prolific dog fouling problems in some places in the district”

A number of years ago East Hampshire District Council created a robust scheme where they would target Dog Fouling with extra officers using fines received to fund the extra activity, they were so successful that they started to run out of Dog Fowler’s as the irresponsible dog owners started to change their behaviour.

Arun last year made a unique agreement with East Hampshire District Council where as HDC enforcement officers would work for Arun
Aruns Cabinet recently approved the Environment & Leisure Working Group recommendations to use these contracted Environmental Enforcement Officers to enforce dog controls in the district in addition to the existing enforcement of littering and dog fouling offences. The fine levels have also been adjusted for the first time in many years (£100 for dog offences, £80 for littering offences – both reduced if paid within 14 days).
There are additional controls for Dog exclusion areas and Dogs on a lead areas (Like Jubilee Gardens in Arundel)

Of course there is a fine balance in creating a regime that punishes the guilty (Effectively) and gives the freedoms that we all enjoy, part of that is policy forming and the other half is the application of the enforcement, always a tricky issue and very subjective.  We have similar issues in parking enforcement, ideally you want it to be effective but not in your face.

The additional controls that are being enforced by issue of FPN (Fixed Payment notices) are dog exclusions and dogs on leads.

You can access information on Dog Fouling on  Aruns website: www.arun.gov.uk/dog-control, also there will be information sent out by Social Media  and there are In addition new leaflets which can be accessed from Arun Civic Centre in Littlehampton.. Also any queries may be sent to dog.wardens@arun.gov.uk

Until Next Month

Paul Dendle is one of your councillors for the Arundel & Walberton Ward and can be reached on Cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk. Website www.pauldendle.org

Support an Offline Bypass

Support an Offline Bypass
Arundel desperately needs an offline bypass

Arundel video

Should Councillors be more active on Social Media

Your Council

Your Council
Arun District Councillors first meeting after election

Need a hotel

Option A Pink blue route for Arundel By-Pass

Option A Pink blue route for Arundel By-Pass