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

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Abolish the South Downs National Park Authority

I have always had a problem with the SDNPA, a body set up by the urban elite, stuffed full of Labour Luvies and with no democratic legitimacy.  Yes when was the last time you voted for a representative on the SDNPA?

We now have a situation where the SDNPA have decided to use public money to challenge Highway England’s decision to recommend Route 5a to the Planning Inspectorate, despite 71% of consultee's choosing to go for an off line option and 48% choosing option 5a.

All local District Councils, Town Councils and Parish Councils and the County Council  (except for Walberton Parish who voted against 5a and Lyminster who didn't give a view)  voted for 5a.  so a clear view from democraticly elected representatives.

This decision by SDNPA in a closed meeting (Don't like democracy or transparency do they?) brings into to question their moral authority and the very existence of this elitist authority.

Do we need them, my view is no, we already have too much government, so lets campaign for them to be abolished and save us the tax payer many millions of our money

Thursday, 5 April 2018

What's happened to LTRAS (Lower Tidal River Arun Management Scheme)?

If you remember over 5 years ago I lobbied the town council to introduce a flood precept, where as
every year money is raised via the town percept to pay for planned maintenance scheme to protect the town from flooding,

LTRAS project as a whole was estimated to be an eye watering £70M pounds, but the Environment agency did identify a more affordable phase one which would give us 20 years peace of mind and help to maintain the status quo.

The cost of phase one was about £700,000  of work whereas West Sussex County Council would contribute 200,000, Arun District £92,000  the Town Council £64,000  and the environment agency the balance.

The Town Council to their credit has been raising money and has £64,000 in the fund ready for the forthcoming work,  But the environment agency has gone very quiet on the scheme.

There has been delays in doing the LTRAS  Phase 1 work , the delays have been down to two reasons The EA doing a review of the West Bank and  a review of the whole LTRAS project (£70M) to see what savings could be made to bring the cost down in this age of austerity.

But in the meantime the Environment Agency has not been idle and has found £500,000 for maintenance of the low spots, eg the most vulnerable spots, this covers from  just north of Warningcamp to just south of Arundel.   But one of the spots that is not covered is around the Windmill.

So as one of your local Councillors it’s my job to lobby the Environment Agency to come up with some money to ensure that the Windmill area is included.  I have every respect for the officers involved but we just need to ensure that all of  Arundel is secure against flooding in the near to medium term.

The above has nothing to do with the river wall collapse which is affecting the cottages along River Road, the LTRAS scheme is for publicly owned areas only, eg the earth river banks.   Private home owners have Riparian repair responsibilities to maintain the river wall, eg if you own a property along the river you have to repair it, The Nineveh Shipyard residents association are doing that very thing at a cost of approximately £8000 per residence.  The Old Slipway residents have joined in and are paying £22,000 per residence.   So living by the river has its cost.

Until Next Month

Paul Dendle is Arundel & walberton Ward Member on Arun District Council  web address is www.pauldendle.org

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Where does your recycling go?

Chinese storage of unwanted plastic bottles.

With all the discussion in the media and the stories of Plastic piling up in China, I thought I would address what happens to your recycling in the Arun district,

What makes me angry when you have these stories of recycling being shipped off to the third world, it damages recycling rates and undermines the recycling message.  

Aruns recycling rate has slipped from 41.5% to 40.5% as a direct result of these negative stories,  It’s hard enough to get people engaged in recycling, many school children learn from an early age regarding recycling and they encourage parents to follow the lead given by teachers and schools.

West Sussex as the waste authority takes the waste that the Districts collect, the recycling goes to the Ford Materials Recycling Facility where it is separated in to the various items, Ford is renowned for the level of quality of its items, eg the low level of contamination and on an annual basis Arun will receive as much as a Million pounds for its share of the recycling that is sold on to UK & EU manufacturers.

But it does not stop there, as well as Ford there is the mechanical recovery unit (MRU) which extracts items from the non recyclable bin, all the food waste goes to an anaerobic digester and powers the MRU as well as exporting power to the National grid, all plastic that couldn’t be recycled is converted into plastic pellets for Energy from waste units (Incinerators) and again electricity is exported to the National grid, Metals are extracted by huge magnets and recycled . The driver for all this positive activity is the landfill tax, so councils have a real incentive to find alternatives and the economies of the MRU are underpinned by the Landfill tax.

The EU was to impose penalties for any Council that didn’t achieve 50% recycling  by 2020, of course Brexit has intervened , but the UK government may continue with the 50% target, so this is still a real possibility and it sensible to ensure that waste does not go to landfill.

One big problem is careless and thoughtless contamination, it only takes one dirty nappy to be deposited into recycling for a whole waste lorry load to be rejected and go directly to non recyclable waste, so challenging this type of behaviour is all in our interests.

Until next month

Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton ward member on Arundel District Council. His website is pauldendle.org and email is cllr.paul.dendle@arun.gov.uk

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Housing Conundrum

Government backed shared ownership affordable housing?.
With most political debate being dominated by Brexit, the big issue for 2018 for the District is finally putting to bed the Local Plan and making the difficult decisions on what is needed for Housing provision  for the Future.

The National Economic imperative has been to try build up to 300,000 houses a year, but this doesn’t square with local opinion and residents who have expressed anger at housing numbers being forced on local communities.

But when you take the time to break down the arguments, you get to two opposing views, Yes local residents want affordable housing provided for the younger generation to get on the housing ladder or rent at a reasonable rate, but residents don’t want the type of estates with large four Bedroom executive houses for incomers being sucked in from higher priced areas causing local housing inflation.

I believe Arun will end up with 1200 houses per annum,  I believe the leadership of Arun will pay dearly for losing control of the Local Plan process and I believe these houses will be the wrong type of housing.

Arun needs somehow even at this late stage  to somehow intervene in the market to change this.
The reason many younger voters, and even voters up to the age of 40 are deserting the Conservative Party is because there isn’t the buy-in to the Housing market and the abilityto get on the housing ladder.

My solution is a massive expansion of shared ownership where young people can partly buy and partly rent new properties,   Also we need to build new towns built around railway lines and designed for the driverless car future that is fast approaching where people will not own cars anymore (Even in Rural areas) and will hail a Uber driverless car to take them to town or to the station.

Many older residents are forced to move closer to towns because they can no longer drive, this will be part of the brave new world fast approaching with Artificial intelligence going to change many aspects of our economic future, a thought for 2018 and beyond.

To next month

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