At a recent Council meeting, both Liberal Democrat and Conservative Councillors took the opportunity to criticise the Government’s Planning Bill. Although they used different language the messages were clear: this proposed law is bad news for the future development of all areas and needs to change. Personally, I am not a great fan of much of the current planning legislation, especially the fact that appeals are determined by a Planning Inspectorate based in Bristol and not by local people familiar with the area. I believe that these new proposals would effectively remove a large proportion of local decision making and allow many plans to go ahead unchallenged. The contributions that developers are currently obliged to pay towards local infrastructure projects will also be taken away from local Councils. The representations made by Councillors in Eastbourne complement those made by Councillors of all political colours across the country. Consultation on the “Planning for the Future” White Paper closes in October. I just hope that the Government listens to the concerns that are being voiced by local communities and scraps many of their proposals.
I have previously mentioned that I was calling upon East Sussex County Council to amend their “Climate Emergency” plans by revising the carbon neutrality target from 2050 to 2030, which would bring them in line with: Eastbourne; Hastings; Rother and Lewes Councils. Whilst my request was supported by Liberal Democrat; Green; Independent and most Labour Councillors, it was rejected by the Conservatives who hold the majority at County Hall. As we have seen from recent events around the world such as floods in China and Western Europe and fires in Turkey and America, climate change is a reality. If we do not take action now, we will be failing future generations.
On Sunday 15th August, a new event will enter the Eastbourne calendar in the form of the Eastbourne Run Festival. This family friendly event will feature a variety of different distances, providing an event for runners of all abilities. If you would prefer to watch rather than take part, the start and finish lines will be at the Western Lawns on the seafront, where there will be music and family entertainment to enjoy.
Stay safe and have a good summer!