Paul Dendle seems to be confused in his letter last week when he said: “Councillors should only represent one authority”.
I have to tell him most emphatically that I do not represent any authority, save that of local residents who have given me authority to represent them and their views in the councils on which I serve.
Nobody is arguing against the updating or re-building of our local swimming centre, as its water tank comes to the end of its design life.
However, Arun District Council’s own surveys across the whole district showed some 70 per cent of residents wanted to keep the swimming centre at its current location, with easy access for residents and visitors, and good parking.
That view has been supported by Littlehampton Town Council, and by Rustington Parish Council.
Petitions and further local surveys have confirmed those views, but Paul Dendle dismissed those as just “old people protesting”.
Another cabinet colleague at Arun has, in the past, stated that the swimming centre site is suitable for flats or housing development, so producing a large capital receipt for the council.
Again, local people have said most vociferously that they do not want more seafront flats.
Arun District Council has employed outside image consultants to present any plans to press ahead with the seafront site sale, and a re-build near the Daisyfields caravan park, in the most favourable light.
The council favoured the Daisyfield site originally, and only reluctantly agreed to include the seafront site in its study after many local protests and petitions.
By its actions, it is Arun District Council who appear to be softening us up for a recommendation to move the pool away from the seafront, and effectively pre-determining the issue.
I will continue to assert my right to represent the views of those who have elected me to the best of my ability, and not to be intimidated by a cabinet member who lives in Burpham, and represents Arundel and Walberton.
Councillor Dr James Walsh
Beach and Littlehampton East
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