flood-risk

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Speak up if you support the By-Pass

Clogged A27 Arundel the current situation.
There is now a real prospect that the Chancellor will include an Arundel by-pass in his autumn statement in early December.  I understand that it is down to two options, either the pink blue route which goes south of Arundel from Crossbush crossing the railway line and river and going through the gap between Tortington Manor and priory lane   and then crossing through the recently planted conifer on Tortington common joining up to where the dual carriageway currently ends. The other route would avoid Tortington Common, but cut through Binstead and Walberton  (I don’t support this).

Since being elected as a Councillor in 2003 I have campaigned for a by-pass using the pink blue route, in fact in each of my election manifests I have included campaigning for an Arundel By-pass using the pink blue route, so I believe I have a mandate to campaign for this and I have community support.

The meeting organised by SCATE at the Arundel Town Hall was packed with many people not being able to gain access, there were supporters and opponents.   I have an issue with SCATE as I believe they are a Trojan horse for a wider anti road agenda by green groups.  This can be evidenced by the fact that they had Chris Todd who wrote the report about their meeting on their web a well-known Sussex green supporter, Chair of the Brighton & Hove and Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership and Tony Whitbread from the Sussex Wildlife Trust who also was involved.

I believe there has to be a debate about the by-pass, I also believe across the Arundel & Walberton ward that there is a large majority for the by-pass, but I think the green groups are mostly not local and not representative and they should allow locals to come to their own conclusions without scaring residents with half-truths.

Tortington Common is not ancient woodland, 80% of the traffic using Arundel is not local, the design of the by-pass has not been decided and there will be a full public enquiry and full public consultation on any final decision to build.

We have the Lyminster by-pass being started in 2017 and 1750 houses being built in north Littlehampton, all this will feed into Crossbush increasing road pressure, also there is going to be built an A29 relief road from Bognor to Fontwell which will feed from the other end.  Standing still is not an option, I support new cycleways, The Arundel Chord rail link to the east, and I have campaigned for a free car park at Ford Station and a cycle way from Arundel to Ford.

But we need the By-Pass and if you support this as I think the silent majority do, then please make your views known, write to the Department of Transport, write to the press and attend meetings.

To next month


Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet member for Leisure Services on Arun District Council  email: pauldendle@aol.com  web site: www.pauldendle.org

Monday, 6 October 2014

Not Local Not Representative Objectors to Arundel By-Pass

Newbury By-Pass was controversial
but now accepted.
I seem to have upset a few people on my last post regarding SCATE being a Trojan horse for Environmental groups

I was elected  three times as a District Councillor for Arundel since 2003, I was elected on a mandate of campaigning for an Arundel By-Pass using the Pink Blue route, since 2003 in all the numerous meetings involving local councils, Officers, Councillors MP's and Ministers I have rarely heard a dissenting voice for provision of a By-Pass for Arundel.

I apologise for using the quote that I used in the previous blog, I also apologise to Kay & other campaigners if I have caused offence The quote at the beginning of the blog was valid, I just wish now I had not attributed to the person who uttered the words as that has become the story in many peoples minds,

I was not invited to Mondays SCATE meeting,  why is that?  I know they invited our MP Nick Herbert, but to hold a meeting in the same week as the Conservative Conference and expect Nick to attend is either very naive or quite calculated. I regret not being able to attend, I was in London that day and then I was attending an event at the Castle for Arundel.org,  I did try to get in for the first 30 minutes but saw the numbers outside the Town Hall and proceeded on to the meeting at the Castle

What people don't realise when they are weighing up the pluses and minuses' of an Arundel By-Pass is that North Littlehampton Development will be starting in the next year or so with 1750 houses, commercial development, hotels, leisure facilities, new road linking Crossbush with bridge over railway and the lyminster bypass,

All that will feed into the Crossbush junction and be complete by 2020.  The SCATE campaigners have not given any way to alleviate the extra traffic that will come into the Crossbush junction,  this is not hypothetical, this is going to happen, so what does SCATE say to the extra traffic that will come?


I maintain that there is a concerted campaign to mislead, SCATE are using selective quotes. On their web site from the SoCoMMS Report ,they published all (or at least most) of the SoCoMMS chapters on their site.
 
The missing one is the Arundel chapter – that’s because SoCoMMS recommended an A27 Bypass at Arundel on the pink/blue route! The latter recommendation is being avoided to create a false impression


the pink blue route does not go through ancient woodland another false fact put around by anti By-Pass protesters, it will be of the highest environmental design and will be fully consulted on by Department of Transport if there is an announcement in the Autumn statement, so there are balances and checks before any final decision is made, but If we do not build a bypass then the extra economic activity locally will strangle our existing infrastructure creating grid lock.
Anti Newbury Bypass protesters,
now accepted locally.


I want an open and transparent debate by locals, not by self appointed defenders of the environment from anti road green groups,   

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Bending the truth - what Green groups want you to think - The A27 Arundel By-Pass

There is a famous quote
A27 chaos caused by lack of a by-pass.


“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it".

The meeting arranged by the Arundel branch of SCATE  (South Coast alliance for Transport and the Environment a pan Sussex organisation with links to various green activists ) was full and many locals could not gain access, a good proportion of the people who did were not local.

I have been asked to make clear by Kay Wagland that this was arranged by the Arundel Branch of Skate, but I see SKATE as a Trojan horse for the Green party and it's efforts to stop a by-pass at any cost.

But we have been here before, in 1992 the bypass was weeks from being built and was stopped in it's tracks by environmental groups, then again in 2003 Swampy was up a tree and Alister Darling used the environment as an excuse to stop the by-pass then.  The greens all disappeared back to where they came from, as most of them are not local and are not representative leaving us locals to deal with the consequences, eg traffic pollution, traffic jams, rat running vehicles, economic stagnation and worries about whether our ambulances can get us to hospital in time.. 

We are now in 2014 and there is a real chance that the long suffering folk of Arundel and the surrounding villages will get their by-pass, but again the Greens are mustering their campaign purporting to be a groundswell of local support.

In my previous article in Sussex Local I attacked their motives, most of the traffic is not local as they purport, they are using spurious scare stories that the bypass will be an eyesore on stilts, what poppycock, if they did that the cost would be astronomical. Also they say we should be looking at other solutions,  I believe we should be encouraging more cycling, better public bus transport, better rail links, free parking at stations and encouraging children to walk to school, but I also think we need a by-pass.

Locals have come to me as local Councillor and elected representative complaining that they were not allowed in to the meeting due to the number of people who wanted to attend, many of the Green activists were already ensconced and had seats, leaving many people who want the By-Pass to be left outside,

I still maintain that 95% of the population of my ward are for the bypass, the problem is that the Greens are very good at puffing up their image and making false statements.

I am angry that these people are not local and are not representative, yes we want a debate, but we want that debate with locals not Greens telling what we should think and how we should live.

I had one email against the by-pass complaining that I should not be supporting a By-pass, I had to point out that I have been elected 3 times on that promise of campaigning for a A27 By-pass using the Pink Blue route, I was elected these people were not.

Do not let these people tell you what to think, get the facts and come to your own conclusions, but be careful of the false information being circulated by them. Please make your views known, lets get a huge noise in support of the by-pass and send the greens packing.

By the way the quote at the beginning of the article was by Joseph Goebbels

Friday, 26 September 2014

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Being Green

Pink Blue Route in red.
Politically I am on the left wing regarding social and environmental issues, but I am on the right with regard to economic and welfare issues, I believe a good proportion of  UK residents share these views.

When I write this I hear there will be a public meeting on the 29th of September to discuss the prospect of an Arundel Bypass, the meeting is being organised by various green groups.

For the record, I support improving our public transport, expanding cycling and encouraging children to walk to school, I am a champion of green issues and developing green energy, but I also support an Arundel Bypass. I believe the economic argument is reason alone to build a Bypass, but also the environmental argument in getting traffic to move at it's most efficient speed is a strong one.

The UK Green party supports the policy of zero growth, (not expanding our economy), I fundamentally disagree with this approach, if you think about it, for the last few years we have had near to zero growth, we as a continent have been getting poorer and poorer in relative terms to  Asian African and South American countries.

Thankfully our economy is now growing after a painful financial consolidation, but we are now coming out of that and are getting real growth again, But if that growth is to be sustainable  then we have to invest in our transport infrastructure, Roads, Rail, Airports and  bus services, if we don't do this  then I believe our economy will be strangled and our growth will be curtailed.

Arun under duress have committed to build 586 houses per year for the next 15 years, without investment in transport our traffic problems will get worse, so I believe we don't have a choice regarding building a new By-pass. But by sending out signals of division on this issue we will send the wrong message to government, there are plenty of other places in the UK that will take the money for new roads, we can not afford to open this debate up again, we decided 20 years ago to adopt the pink/blue route as the preferred route and we need to send the message to the Transport Secretary that we want that route and want the Bypass now

I know my views will be unpopular with local environmental groups, but I do believe I speak for the majority on this issue.  Until next month

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member for Leisure Services on Arun District Council, his email is pauldendle@aol.com


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tourism & Regeneration

As Cabinet Member for Leisure and Amenities one of my key responsibilities is Tourism,  30 years ago I started Avro Plc which was fore runner to the non frills carriers, we sold cheap seats to the masses sending people abroad on cheap flight only deals, one of our biggest sellers was Alicante and we had 20 aircraft at Alicante airport on some nights.
Littlehampton Flood works & Pier Road works.

So it is interesting to see the renaissance of our coastal towns and a return to young families to a traditional seaside holiday, young parents want to give their children a traditional holiday, but also want to see quality and value for money,  
That's why I feel it's so important to regenerate Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, Butlins have built four new hotels on their Bognor site which are attracting a more upmarket clientele and the new public realms works in London road with new pavements, trees and cafe type atmosphere are helping to change the image of  Bognor Regis.(This was delivered despite fierce negative opposition from Bognor Regis Civic Society and certain UKIP & Lib Dem County Councillors )

Littlehampton is having £13M+ spent on new flood defences, part of that project will be an area beside the river in Pier road which will be for alfresco dining, so you will be able to eat fish and chips overlooking the river and have a glass of cold white wine at the same time.

Surly this is the way to change the perception of our towns, we have the most successful richest city in the world only 60 miles away and there are plenty of people who will come and spend money in our towns if they provide what they want.

Bognor Regis London Road
Paving & trees are new.
Unfortunately we have had to fight every inch of the way to do this because some residents can not see the vision of what can be achieved, what I find most frustrating as a businessman and Councillor is having to fight for the bleeding obvious, but that's democracy, an imperfect system, but the best we have, maybe we should ask our younger residents what they want and they will vote with their feet, this is the way forward and hopefully mine and my colleagues vision for a brighter tourist economy for the benefit of all the residents of our district.  
London Road as a work in progress.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Lamp Posts in Arundel

Arundel Lamp posts at threat?.
WSussex CountyCouncil have confirmed to a resident that they arn't touching any of the lamp posts in MaltraversStreet, London Road and the castle walls and most of the High Street. I am awaiting an email update on what is actually planned, they also said that they usually put on a  road show with details plans but were aware of the sensitivities in Arundel (What ever that means). There was a meeting Wednesday between WSCC,SSE(the Contractor)and Arundel Town Council.I know from correspondence that there is considerable concern at WSCC proposals and I will lobby to get a common sense  solution.I personally believe that Re-engineering the existing lamp  posts is not beyond a possibility and would    give energy saving as well as preserving the character ofthe town; this is something I am lobbying for them to do,



Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Boundaries - all change

Arundel ward is top left hand corner and is vast.

You may or may not be aware, but the Arundel & Walberton wards have had a boundary change forced
upon them by the Boundary Commission. We now have a ridiculous situation where as The Arundel and Walberton ward is being joined to make it a 3 member (Councillor) ward. It is a huge geographical area with a total of 11 parishes. (part of Angermering, Arundel, Polling, Lyminster, Warningcamp, Burpham, South Stoke, Madehurst, Houghton, Slindon, Walberton)

Residents may not be aware but District Councillors have to service the Parishes and I regularly visit Arundel Town Council, Burpham Parish, Warningcamp and Lyminster Parish Council. Norman Dingerman who is the Councillor for Walberton regularly visits Walberton, Slindon and Madehurst parishes

Arun District as a whole is reducing from 56 Councillors to 52, but I believe the Boundary Commission has missed a trick. I wanted to see a reduction from 56 to 45 which I believed would save Arun up to £250,000 and could have kept an Arundel two member ward, I made my own representations, but there wasn’t unanimity by Arun Councillors so the Boundary Commission forced its own solution on the Council.

So now we have a situation where each of us will need to service 11 parishes, unless we decide to divide the ward ourselves into areas of responsibility which defeats the whole purpose of the Boundary Commissions review.

The Conservatives have chosen their 3 candidates for the Arundel & Walberton ward, they are myself, Norman Dingerman and new Candidate Robert Wheal, Don Ayling who is the other current Arundel District Councillor didn’t put his name forward for re-selection, so our thanks need to go to him for his erstwhile service as Arundel District Councillor.

I don’t know the names of other party’s candidates yet; maybe someone from those parties can contact me so I can advise readers who they are in future articles. I would hope that we could possibly get some public hustings going when the election starts so the public can join the electoral debate, I leave that to the individual parishes to decide if they wish to do that.

Local Conservatives are holding a Curry Lunch on the 7th of September at the excellent India Gate restaurant in Arundel, Non Members are very welcome -Tickets only: £19.50pp.which includes
Papadoms, Two Courses of Indian Cuisine inc wine or beer. Bookings can be made via http://www.southdownsconservatives.com
Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC. He can be contacted on email pauldendle@aol.com.





Thursday, 17 July 2014

Arundel Youth Club & Learning Tree Nursery - Statement from Arundel Town Council

Arundel Town Council Statement

"We are pleased to advise that following a meeting yesterday (16 July 2014) an agreement has been reached between Arundel Youth Club and the Learning Tree, with the result that provision for both services will continue whilst the legal issues with the lease (lessor WSCC) of the premises which is used by both the Youth Club and the Learning Tree is resolved.

We extend our thanks to all parties involved in particular Cllr Dendle of Arun District Council who chaired the meeting, and look forward to a final outcome that will enhance youth and early years services in Arundel.


Commenting Cllr Dendle said “It was a difficult meeting but in the end we managed to come to a common sense solution with the goodwill of all parties”, The Mayor Cllr Tu said “This was an issue that has been of concern to us for a number of months and we are pleased to play an active role in the solution”.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Flood Fair in Arundel - Call to action

Arundel Flooding.
If you may remember, I have been pushing to try and get Flood Forum down to Arundel to advise regarding simple devices that can help build resilience for your homes, I managed to get Arun to contribute money towards the event

Mike De-Lara of the  Arundel Flood Risk Community Group has arranged for them to be at the Town Hall on the Friday the 12th of September from 4-8pm,  I would urge all residents to put this date in their diary, forewarned is forearmed and there is talk (not confirmed yet) that insurance premiums could be reduced if you install these type of devices,  it will be worth an hour of your time.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Leisure for all?

K2 in Crawley, something similar for Arun?.
When I was 11 years old, I lived in a Council house in a new town with my mother and my brother and I suppose we would be classed as a single parent family.  I used to visit my local sports centre and I took up boxing which prepared me on two levels, firstly I had more confidence to take on bully’s (giving the odd one a bloody nose), also it helped to build my character and gave me a greater insight to who I was, in other words sport really helped me develop as a rounded individual and useful member of society.
The reason I mention it is that on the 30th of June the Arun Tourism & Infrastructure working party will meet to decide on an alternative to the existing Littlehampton Sports & Swimming Centre.  The old centre is 32 years old and is showing its age and is increasingly becoming quite expensive to run.  The existing site is not in an ideal location as it does not have good transport links.
Consultants were employed to do a study on whether to replace the existing centre and if so, the best place for that centre. They have come up with a recommendation to move it to a site which is adjacent the new road that will link with the Lyminster bypass and where it crosses the A259 just between the two body shop roundabouts.   This is at the centre of where people live in Littlehampton and would be at the crossroads of north to south and east to west of bus services (a short bus ride from Arundel). 
Children like my 11 year self cannot currently easily get to the existing centre, and if we can get a building that’s bigger, better, cheaper to run and more central it would be closer to the areas where the people who really need it would benefit the most.
Birmingham city Council had an experiment a number of years ago where they gave free off peak gym membership to some adults and children, it cut obesity and did so well that the NHS decided to help fund the initiative because it helped to re-educate people to have a healthier life style which then helped cut admissions to hospital.   You could call this the nanny state, but I don’t think so, as it takes a lot of work to get fit and you really need to want to do it to succeed, but surly we as a society should give children the where for all and opportunity to do so?

Until next month, Paul Dendle is the Arundel ward member and now the Cabinet member for Leisure and Amenities, web site www.pauldendle.org & email is Pauldendle@aol.com

Monday, 2 June 2014

Arun voted Best Council in Green awards

Arun voted Best Council.
Arun District Council has been voted the best green council - after winning the Council of the Year award.  The Green Deal and Eco Awards for 2014 has recognised the council's efforts to implement green energy schemes.
The council faced stiff competition from East Renfrewshire, Fife council, London Borough of Hillingdon, Newark, Sherwood and Wirral Council.  
Councilor Paul Dendle Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Arun District Council said:
"Arun has been at the forefront of developing innovative eco schemes which have helped residents fight fuel poverty and preserve the environment. We will continue to help and encourage our residents to save money and fight climate change"

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Local Plan ramifications & difficult decisions

Arun agreed up to 580 houses per annum to be built.
Some of you may have seen the newspaper reports regarding the recent debate on the Local Plan, we had to vote on whether to agree the strategic option of providing 2000 houses Eastergate/Westergate and Barnham and also 600 houses in Angermering.

If we don’t have a local plan in place then we are vulnerable as a District for Planning by appeal, this is where a developer would put in an application on a site to the Planning authority which is rejected by local Councillors, if the Developer subsequently appeals to the planning inspectorate in Bristol, the appeal can be allowed for the sole reason that the planning authority did not have a local plan in place.

So this could get applications popping up all over the place, on Greenfield sites like Horses Field and it would be planning anarchy, also we wouldn’t get the windfalls of developer contributions to build new roads or community buildings.

This situation has arisen because the previous Labour government wanted to see more house building and designed this into the system; the coalition government also wants more house building so has allowed the system to continue.  As a country we need more houses, but this is not localism, it’s planning by duress.

 So I voted for the recommendation not because I wanted to or that I believe putting these houses in these locations was desirable, I voted for it to stop planning by appeal and I saw a vote for yes as the lesser of two evils and however I looked at the conundrum I could not see a way out.

It was not an easy or popular decision, but we couldn’t wait any longer in making a decision however unpalatable or unpopular as we have already had a number of applications approved on appeal.

Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward and Cabinet Member for the Environment on Arun DC.   He can be contacted on email pauldendle@aol.com.




  

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Arundel's Retail Environment

Tarrant Street Arundel, possible
 Pedestrian friendly area?
I am writing this article in the run up to the referendum on the Arundel Neighbourhood plan, hopefully the referendum gave a strong yes vote and the town has again established itself as being a the forefront of other communities in leading the way.

The Neighbourhood plan will dovetail into Arun’s local plan and will be a comprehensive master-plan for the town’s development, detailing economic, housing, planning and community development.

  I have heard that the Nat West branch in Arundel (part of the RBS group) is cutting its hours to be virtually a part time branch. I suppose this is inevitable in the Internet age, but I have never understood why the big banks never got together to share branches and cut costs, even joining with Royal Mail, you could have banking centres with branded bank teller windows and shared utilities.

But with many things in our town, if we don’t use it we will lose it so there is a need for us to support local business, but I also think there are opportunities for business’s to join together and create delivery networks to compete with the large Internet offerings from the supermarkets.  But in many ways as I have stated before I believe Arundel is in the post retail stage of development and well placed to take advantage of the leisure shopper looking for a destination experience rather than just doing essential shopping.

I have been told that the two Arundel 20mph zones are progressing and will come about sometime in late 2015, this is something I have been campaigning for nearly four years, I have heard that similar zones in other towns have cut road injuries by 23%, I know that all the people won’t go at 20mph, but if they go at 25mph instead of 35mph then that’s progress and something to celebrate and will make out streets more civilised and safer.

We also need to move more quickly on the Leisure strategy recommendations for Arundel and implement them to allow the town to move to a pedestrian friendly street scene with more alfresco dining opportunities, we have a good quality of life in Arundel, but we can make it better. 

  Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com  www.pauldendle.org


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My Letter to Nick Clegg regarding Cllr.Opplers decision to sanction Mrs Warr's winter holiday expenses

Mail-onLine article regarding Mrs Warr's expences.
Link to Mail-on-line
I have written to Nick Clegg the deputy Prime Minister regarding Cllr Francis Opplers role as leader of the Lib Dem group on Arun District Council,  Cllr Oppler sanctioned Mrs Warr's conduct in claiming expenses whilst holidaying for the Winter months for at least the last seven years.

Cllr Oppler does not seem to think that Mrs Warr has done anything wrong, so I have sent the following letter to the Bognor Observor which I publish below.

I am hoping they will print it and I am hoping Cllr Oppler will make some sort of public statement regarding his role in this scandal.




                             

                          Cllr. Paul Dendle

Budds Corner 84 Burpham West Sussex BN18 9RH
Email: pauldendle@aol.com    www.pauldendle.org
         

The Editor
Bognor Observer
Place St.Maur
Belmont Street
Bognor Regis
PO21 1BJ

20th March 2014

Dear Editor

Re:  Expense Scandal

I felt again compelled to write after reading Cllr Francis Opplers recent statements regarding Councillor Mrs Warr’s expense claims whilst spending the winter in Florida.

Cllr Oppler states that Mrs Warr went away for health reasons, I’m sorry I can’t accept that, it’s not compulsory to claim your expenses and Mrs Warr has gone away for 4 months in winter for at least the last 7 years.  By claiming her expenses shows a systematic disregard for the public purse and tax payer.

Cllr Oppler sanctioned Mrs Warr’s expense claims which is shocking, but he does not seem to think that Mrs Warr has done anything wrong,  He tries to divert attention from his own lack of judgement and Mrs Warr’s claims by trying to smear Conservative Councillors who simply live in two places and spend their weekends away.

Mrs Warr’s claims were not illegal, but I believe they were indefensible, but also
I believe there are direct parallels to the MP’s expense scandal; many MP’s defended their claims stating that their claims were within the rules and legal, but as elected representatives we all have to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Cllr Oppler needs to consider his position and accept that what has happened is wrong, until he makes a public statement to that affect, then no one will be able to take him seriously as Leader of the Lib Dems on Arun District or the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate

Yours Faithfully

Cllr. Paul Dendle
Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member

For the Environment on Arun DC

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Local Government structure

2010 election results by political colours.
Before I was elected I knew very little of the structure of our local government and forgive me if I am wrong, but I believe most people don’t either.

In West Sussex we have a three tier structure with the Parish at the lowest level with the District at next level and West Sussex County Council at the top.  In the Arundel ward there are currently six parishes which are either a Parish meeting (Burpham, Warningcamp, South Stoke & Houghton), a Parish Council (Lyminster) or a Town Council (Arundel),  Parishes are Planning consultees and give their opinion to the planning authority (In Arun District that’s either Arun or the South Downs National Park), Parishes are responsible for community based buildings, like village halls or the Arundel Town Hall they also work with Arun and West Sussex County Council on delivering local based services.  The Parish is financed through your Council tax bill through the parish precept

Local Election Ballot Box.
At the next level is Arun District which covers many different services, they are the billing authority so collect Council tax on behalf of all the other authorities, e.g. West Sussex County Council (about 78%)   Arun District (About 11%) and then the Police Authority (about 9%) and the balance to the Parish.  Arun has many different service responsibilities which include, Planning, Housing (Arun has about 3500 council houses known as Social Housing), Affordable Housing, Street Cleansing, Weekly Refuse, Public Conveniences, Leisure Centres, Theatres, leisure Green spaces and parks, Civil Parking enforcement, Car Parks, Well Being agenda, Costal Flooding, Benefits (Council Tax and Housing benefit), Internal Drainage, Drinks Licensing, Taxi Licensing, Environmental Health, Pest Control, Regeneration, I could go on, but we also liaise and work closely with the Police and West Sussex County Council and we deliver all this just under £3. Per week for a Band D household.

At the top is West Sussex County Council which covers Schools & Education, Highways, Social care, Public Transport, Libraries, Children care and Adoption services, Youth Services,  Flooding  (River, Surface and ground source), Waste processing, local waste centres, delivery of government economic initiatives like Rural Broadband and business grants
Local government is much more efficient than Central government, but the obvious question is could local government be delivered more efficiently, Well I think it could, unitary authorities like Cornwall avoid duplication and can have a more coherent view, but whether unitary councils should be county wide is another question, some counties have super borough or city  councils like Havant, Portsmouth or Winchester, I believe there are opportunities to have a super District unitary that would stretch from Chichester to Shoreham that would cut the number of Councillors, save money and be more joined up.


Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Flooding & Climate Change


Building the Rock Revetment at Pagham.
I am writing this report in mid February and the country is being buffeted by storms and rain, I don’t think I have been busier as a Councillor; one of my Cabinet responsibilities is flooding, so I have been immersed in problems at Pagham with the Coastal erosion, Littlehampton West Bank and Arundel.

Homes at Pagham have been at risk of being washed away  by the sea and I have attended a number of meetings in Pagham spoken with many residents who are justly worried about their homes.  

Nick Herbert MP held a flood summit in January at Arundel’s town hall, amongst attendee’s were Michael Tu Mayor, West Sussex County Council  (WSCC) Cabinet Members, officers, Arun officers, myself, Environment Agency (EA) Officers, Derek Waller and other affected local residents.  

It was a positive meeting, the problems over Christmas were discussed which were mainly surface water, but also down to faulty flaps on the river wall which allowed water to rise up the very pipes that were supposed to take it away.

Future defences were discussed, the £10m required for these in the next twenty years and the £23M over the next 100 years.  Readers of this column will be aware that I am keen for the community to take control of the situation by raising the Town Council precept (There share of the council tax) by £26 per household per year and raising £500k over 10 years.
This would put Arundel in the driving seat in raising money from WSCC, Arun, EA, Business, Network Rail, The Highways Agency etc etc, I am hoping there will be a debate in the town and that the Town Council can decide to proceed with proposals starting in March of 2015.

Also Arun via the Arundel Flood Risk Community group is paying for the Flood Forum to bring their road show to the Arundel farmers market (Date to be confirmed), The flood Forum have been in Littlehampton and show low cost devices like air brick covers, devices to seal toilets against sewerage overflow, door slats for flooding and waterproof doors.
I have been pushing for over a year the EA to dredge the rifes which cover the district, by building capacity this will help with flooding in general. We need to build up resilience at all levels to deal with situations which will could become more regular with climate change, by working together we can protect ourselves and our communities.

 Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Cabinet system and my responsibilities as Cabinet member for the Environment

The Cabinet system was introduced by the previous government,  Arun currently has 56 councillors, of those there is a Cabinet with 7 members.  The Cabinet includes the Leader, the Deputy leader and five other members.  The Cabinet Member has a list of responsibilities in their portfolio and they act as the political voice for those responsibilities and should be well versed and in the command of their portfolio.

Officers take a steer from the Cabinet member, but ultimately all decisions have to be agreed by the various committee's and ultimately by the Full Council.

I love being a Cabinet member as it allows me to be fully involved in any issue and allows me to suggest innovative ways forward, I can make individual cabinet member decisions and  make a difference.

Tourism, one of my Cabinet responsibilities.
My Cabinet Portfolio responsibilities are

Tourism
Land Charges
Environmental Health
Cleansing
Car Parking and Car Parks
Leisure Management including Leisure Centres
Parks and Greenspace
Emergency Planning
Children, Young People ^& Safeguarding
Youth Council
Culture
Events
Leisure Strategy
Engineering (Including flood defences)
Day Centres
Voluntary Sector

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Arundel Bypass the Past & the Future

Previous Crossbush A27works 2 years ago.
Many people ask me when if ever the Arundel Bypass will be built. I believe it will take us 10 years to deliver this important infrastructure, the government to their credit has announced a feasibility study for providing a by-pass, but due to civil servants dragging their feet, it won’t report until 2015. How many studies have we had over the last ten years? and how much has that cost?  I despair with our civil service and I believe Britain prospers despite the civil service.

 But more importantly I believe the residents of Arundel should more worry about the route the By-pass will take. The Department Of Transport back in the early nineties set the Pink Blue route as the preferred route and all levels of local government (County, District and Arundel Towns councils) have supported this.

Twenty years ago when the dual carriageway to Crossbush was built the Arundel Bypass was weeks away from being started, but was scuppered by local campaigners who managed to get the government to cancel the by-pass and have left us with increasingly an unworkable status quo.
In 2003 in a personal meeting, the then Arundel MP (Howard Flight) was promised by the Secretary of State Alistair Darling that he would in two days give the approval to the by-pass using the Pink Blue route.
Two days later in a statement to the House of Commons, Alistair Darling reneged on that promise saying the following
   "The Arundel bypass would cut across water meadows damaging an area of Outstanding beauty. I am rejecting this proposal......In my view [it] has environmental consequences that are unacceptable and avoidable. There are problems [on this] road, and I am therefore asking the Highways Agency to identify [an] alternative solution, recognising the need to support planned
economic growth"

In a follow up written statement he said the following

 "The Secretary of State does not support ... a bypass at Arundel ...as currently recommended by the study. A bypass of Arundel would have negative impacts on heritage and landscape as well as the water environment. The Secretary of State is therefore asking the Highways Agency to work with local authorities and Statutory Environmental Bodies to identify less damaging options .. and to report back to him."

You will note the change from:

"The Arundel bypass would cut across water meadows damaging an area of outstanding beauty" to "A bypass of Arundel would have negative impacts on heritage and landscape as well as the water environment".

The point is that the area to the South of Arundel was never in the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), and this suggests that Alistair Darling took his House of Commons words directly from a last-minute Countryside Agency/Defra/Margaret Beckett memo rather than from an accurate and thought-out piece of advice from his officials and those at the Highways Agency. NB - Margaret Beckett was senior to him in both the Cabinet and the Labour Party!
Pink Blue route.

The Past is the past and we can’t change that, but unfortunately the Highways Agency is trying to open the route question again and to have a partial online solution.   This would involve taking a dual carriageway to the bottom of Hospital hill and then taking the route from there offline to Crossbush via a new bridge and south of the railway station.

This is something I and local MP Nick Herbert have been fighting against; I also believe that the residents of Arundel would rather have NO bypass than have this route imposed on them.  This is something I believe as a community we have to reject and tell the Highways Agency that we want the Pink Blue Route which is still the preferred route, minor tweaks I believe we can live with, but not a major re-alignment of the route.   I will fight and campaign to ensure this happens to the best of my ability.

Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com 


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