IfS Actions speak louder
21st December 2015 By IfS Executive
Just after the election in May 2015 the news started to break in Seaford and the rest of Lewes District about the 49 sites which were to be sold off to fulfil LDC obligation to central Govt. housing requirements. The outrage felt by Seaford residents at the prospect of losing the Buckle car park with its recycling and public toilet amenities, much used in all weathers, and that it has also become the official car park for Bishopstone Station, as signposted by the council following their recently introduced parking restrictions, all led to Independents for Seaford (IfS) starting the ‘Buckle petition’ in the first weeks of June 2015. This was presented, over 2,000 signatures, to LDC full council in July.
Since then many groups within the district have worked, campaigned and marched to highlight the undemocratic process behind the ‘New Homes’ contracts and the unsuitability of selling off community assets that benefit many whether car parking for business & recreation or green spaces.
After the motion in October to ensure like for like amenities would replace the Buckle prior to things moving forward IfS sent a letter on 3rd November to each and every Lewes District councillor requesting an investigation into the conduct of LDC in 10 areas.
We had listened to voices in Seaford who felt a sense of déjà vu from Spring 2014 when STC was investigated. Residents were increasingly concerned at LDC’s recent decisions; the electorate could not be ignored.
One councillor responded, other Councillors went to LDC Officers. A response was received from LDC on their behalf.
IfS then wrote an email to Maria Caulfield MP requesting she followed her predecessor’s precedent and call for an inquiry.
On Wednesday 9th Dec, IfS supporters marched with others from the district from Lewes train station to County Hall.
Sylvia Dunn, IfS Executive Officer, who attended both the march and LDC Full Council meeting says:
A second Protest March was organised on 9th December in Lewes, to coincide with Lewes District's Full Council meeting. Members of IFS were in attendance, and proudly marched along side other community groups. The solidarity of standing together across the district shows the strength of feelings towards the ill thought-out 'New Homes Project' as well as calling on our elected members to listen to its residents.
Not long into the meeting, it became apparent that some Councillors were starting to listen, and it was agreed and voted on, that the ‘New Homes’ development planning applications be delayed until solutions to residents concerns are found. It was never a done deal, and the fight continues.