Hack attack won’t deter campaigners from cause

CAMPAIGNERS batting to give Bognor Regis its independence from Arun District Council will not let a hacking setback beat them.

The group, which is seeking to have the town’s ties with the district council severed, claim their Facebook page, ‘Fight the Good Fight – Get Out of Arun’ was hacked over the weekend.

Bognor resident Caroline Wilson, who set up the page said she was ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the intruder’s actions, which have meant organisers had no choice but to take down the page, and set up another one.

She said: “It started with a friend request from someone I didn’t know. When I looked on his profile I saw he had only joined Facebook eight minutes before.

“He had nothing written on his wall or any friends, I thought it was a bit suspicious so I declined the request.

“He then kept trying to get onto the group. After his third attempt I discovered I could no longer get on to the group properly.

“I could not control the admin functions properly, all I was able to do was delete members. Unfortunately this has left me with no option but close down the group.”

Caroline, who has been using the social networking site as a major tool in the campaign, has reported the infiltration to Facebook.

“Although this is a major setback for us we are determined to carry on, and get our message out.

“The new group we have set up is a private one, but people can request to join it by sending me a private message,” said Caroline.

Caroline and her fellow committee members are currently trying to re-add as many of the original group’s friends as possible.

“This is taking a lot of time, but we feel it is necessary to prevent a repeat attack.

“We had over 3,000 members of the first group, and so far we have managed to add around 1,000 to the new one,” she added.

As previously reported in the Observer, the campaigners, who want Arun to relinquish their control to let the existing parish-level town council take over at district level, have started a petition.

Their proposal would include the areas of Felpham, Aldwick, Pagham and Bersted.

Caroline said: “The petition is going really well.

“I am getting messages and calls from people wanting to help which is great.

“We have also received news back from parliament stating that they will accept an e-petition which we hope will help further our cause.”

The campaigners started their petition in Bognor’s town centre on September 22.

It demands more say for residents on local matters and calls on the district council to reorganise its decision-making process.

It also asserts all important decisions regarding the town’s future and regeneration should be made only by Bognor councillors.

Caroline set the campaign up after listening to the town’s deputy mayor Paul Wells speak during a town council meeting last month.