People in glass houses...

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MR DENDLE declares how keen he is to join CiViC and ‘join together for a better Bognor Regis’, and that would be somewhat more believable if we had ever seen him at a Civic Society public meeting.

It would also be more believable if he had not publicly likened CiViC to ‘Colonel Gadaffi’ and ‘West Libya’ on Facebook.

He also calls us a ‘private debating club’ and qualifies his interest in joining by saying ‘allowing I get re-elected on May 5 and allowing I stay as a Cabinet Member’.

Does this sound like the words of someone intent upon constructive debate or, indeed, any form of ‘joining together’?

Readers may wish to draw their own conclusions, and although we have always been keen to work with Arun District Council for the good of the town, we have usually found their reciprocation to be patchy, to say the least.

A good start would be for Gillian Brown to rescind her outright refusal to attend the public meeting we offered to organise for her on a date of her choice.

Mr Dendle doesn’t seem to understand that although membership is not a pre-requisite for attendance at our public meetings – we welcome everybody, member or not – we are nevertheless governed by our constitution.

He is no exception to this and it is possible that by his intemperate remarks he may have disqualified himself under Clause 3, for which he has only himself to blame.

However, to be as fair as possible to him this matter will not be decided by just the committee, as would normally happen, but by the whole membership.

There would be little point in doing this now, though, for if he is not re-elected it would seem his interest in joining will evaporate; so we will deal with this after the election. But we would also like him to remember the old saying about people in glass houses.

Quite apart from Arun’s secretive and unaccountable regeneration board which makes behind-closed-doors decisions about Bognor’s future, in his enthusiasm for transparency there is another secretive process we would like him to clean up for us all. This is the practice of secret political group meetings before every council meeting during which considerable influence is exerted on how votes will be cast.

There are no published agendas or minutes for these, yet in the case of his own political group which happens to have influence in this area, the decisions made can have far-reaching effects on public policy and finances throughout the district.

This secrecy is quite wrong in this context, and the public should have full access to what goes on in these private meetings, no matter which political group is involved.

Seeing how keen Mr Dendle is on transparency we look forward to his taking these matters up, whether re-elected or not.

And, as he mentions BRighter Bognor, at the same time he could brush up on his knowledge (or lack of it) of that nebulous group.

In stark contrast to CiViC’s entirely public procedures, BB have never held any kind of public meeting, AGM, election of officers, nor even publicly demonstrated any proper membership.

Go to it, Mr Dendle, plenty of transparency work for you to be getting on with!

Hugh Coster

Deputy chairman

Bognor Regis Civic Society