WHISPERING SMITH: Keeping my powder dry despite the slaughter...

WHEN I first learned of Arun District Council’s duplicity in the last-minute alteration of the leisure part of the accepted and fully consulted Littlehampton Neighbourhood Plan, without further reference to the electorate or the Littlehampton Town Council, my reaction was to dash for my typewriter.

Then I read Arun council leader Gill Brown’s placatory comments, trying to put a positive spin of the council’s skulduggery, I gave up. Battle-weary, I asked myself: What is the point? Arun goes its own sweet way, and really has little care or respect for Littlehampton, merely seeing our fair town as a cash cow, a place to raise money for hare-brained schemes that will, in all likelihood, never see fruition but will nevertheless cost us dearly.

The swimming and sports centre and the Windmill, which we see as belonging to the people, community assets, Arun sees as belonging to the council, alone, places to build yet more housing and thus raise more capital to squander on yet more consultants.

Any future referendum on the neighbourhood plan is now clouded and our only real redress will be at the polls in 2016 when, for good or bad, the current Arun cabinet may well come a cropper at the hands of independent candidates or the ubiquitous UKIP. For my part, perhaps it is best to save what energy and ammunition I have left in my armoury until that time.

ON A happier note, but maybe not so much for the feral pigeon involved, I had the extraordinary experience last week of seeing one of my favourite birds in action right here on my street. A peregrine falcon dropped out of the darkening, evening sky onto the pigeon, killed it and ate it. Slaughter on Western Road.

NOW Paul Dendle is suddenly a fervent fan of the Windmill Cinema? Why this overnight conversion, when it was his duplicitous cabinet which took it from us and left us with a year of darkness? The councillor has a short memory, whereas we moviegoers, by our very nature, have rather longer ones!

I HEAR that the main drag through the new estate north of the A259 is to be called Benjamin Gray Drive, so well done Alan Gammon for drawing this historic link with Australia to our attention.