Lamentably uninformed

IT WOULD perhaps be permissible for a resident of Burpham to be ignorant of matters in Bognor Regis, but it is quite astonishing that Cllr Paul Dendle, as an Arun District councillor and cabinet member is so lamentably uninformed.

If he had ever taken the trouble to attend the Bognor Regis Civic Society monthly open public meetings (which he has not) he would have witnessed our AGM, the election of committee and officers and all the other business.

These monthly public meetings, which are the only effective forum for public debate in the town, have been happening since 1998.

And at those meetings he would have witnessed that the decisions taken are those of the members and public.

You can’t get much more transparent than that, but of course he doesn’t know because he hasn’t bothered to come along and find out.

He is also conveniently ignoring (or more probably doesn’t know) that CiViC received 10,158 signatures in support of the petition against flats on the Regis Centre site, amply supported by the later town poll, and more recently the support of the traders, the Chamber of Commerce, Bognor TBI, the Town Council and 5,807 members of the public in a petition for free parking in Bognor Regis town centre.

Because of this, and because all our major decisions are voted on in our public meetings by members and the public themselves, we can fairly claim to be consulting the public on these matters.

And, er, when did this ever happen at Arun District Council, Mr Dendle?

Where is your public consultation and thousands of signatures in support of particular individual policies?

When did Arun last hold a general public Q&A session in Bognor Regis to find out what the public think?

Seven years ago, in fact.

And in your letter you claim to be ‘elected’.

Who voted for you?

Actually, nobody, because in May, 2007, Arundel was uncontested.

And we’ll take no lectures in transparency from a member of a cabinet which sets up a secretive group to make decisions behind closed doors on Bognor’s future with no agendas or minutes published.

Worse still, the majority of the members of this Regeneration Board mini-quango are not elected by anybody and represent nobody but themselves.

Straighten out your own house and get properly informed, Cllr. Dendle, before criticising others!

Hugh Coster

Deputy Chairman

Bognor Regis Civic Society