VOTE: Do you have confidence in Arun District Council?

Arun District Council
Arun District Council

ELECTORS in Bognor Regis have passed a vote of no confidence in Arun District Council.

The move was passed on Monday as residents gathered for the town’s annual electors’ meeting.

The motion was put forward by Laurie Barnes, chairman of the Bognor Regis Civic Society.

“We propose that this town council electors’ meeting passes a motion of no confidence in Arun District Council in view of its poor handling of Bognor Regis regeneration,” said Mr Barnes.

Mr Barnes listed a number of reasons why he believed swift action needed to be taken.

He slammed allowing a regeneration scheme which could see some 275 car parking spaces in the town lost, and the building of 280 more flats in the town centre as particularly unacceptable.

Mr Barnes also criticised Arun District Council for failing to take notice of a petition seeking to protect the town’s cinema.

“Unreasonably rejecting the 10,868-signature petition and undermining the town council and its tax payers’ investment in the Picturedrome cinema, or even considering a reasonable compromise,” he said.

Mr Barnes also slammed the district council for restricting access to a public meeting and not allowing residents to openly ask questions.

“Restricting access to its only public consultation meeting which also failed to provide the consultation results data and was stage managed to preclude a proper debate,” he added.

The regeneration proposals on the table for the town from St Modwen involve building a four- or five-screen multiplex cinema, restaurants and bars, on the Regis Centre site, along with a hotel and 80 apartments.

For the Hothamton site, the plan is to build 200 flats plus a store.

Mr Barnes’ request followed on from a resolution made by Bognor Regis Town Council on March 11.

At that meeting councillors resolved to tell Arun they had no confidence in the multi-million-pound regeneration scheme put forward for the town by St Modwen. Members also asked for an urgent meeting with the district council to discuss alternatives.

Hugh Coster, the society’s deputy chairman, also told Monday’s meeting, held at the Picturedrome in Canada Grove, a new petition saying no to a new multiplex for Bognor Regis had been started.

“This petition will be short and it will be sweet, but it will hopefully make a point.

“We also have posters which we hope you residents will all display,” said Mr Coster.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have confidence in Arun District Council? Have your say in the voting panel on the right, and leave your comments below.