Littlehampton needs infrastructure to support new housing developments

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I am a patient at an excellent local practice. The doctors there are helpful and caring and I have never known any rudeness or short-tempered behaviour from any of the receptionists, in fact the complete opposite.

One lady in the queue in front of me being offered countless appointments did, after consulting with her diary, turn each one down. The receptionist was not fazed either then or when a mum turned up with child stung by a wasp, I do not recall the actual victim being with her as she was only making an appointment.

When it came to my turn, I was politely told that the earliest possible date would be two weeks hence. It seems the surgery is inundated with new patients and although coping, was not at the top of its appointment game a problem added to which by the many appointments that were not kept, without reference or apology from the patient. Extraordinary.

Having accepted the inevitable wait, I asked myself a question that appears to puzzle and worry many people in the local area. How come we are allowing the building of so many new houses, inviting people into the area to live and work, hopefully happily among us, while not offering any supporting infrastructure?

Surely the latter should come first and, if not, at the same time. The ongoing and growing problem is obvious to most of us so why not to the powers that be. Make do and mend seems to be their mantra.

|Also in the news - A fed-up Littlehampton resident is taking the war with a moulting maple tree to the local council in the hopes it will finally get a trim; a baby was bitten by a dog in a Littlehampton park; and a crucial meeting for the future of the Look & Sea Centre has been branded an ‘utter disgrace’ after a controversial vote caused uproar|

THE Selborne Oak has been saved thanks to the extra ordinary generosity of a group of around two dozen local and not so local folk. A real community effort. She has been shorn and pollarded and now looks like Groot out of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Some new growth is expected next spring and much more the following year as she recovers her dignity.

The three young workers from KPS Contractors Ltd did a splendid job. The young man who worked the tree’s top found a yucca growing from a tiny crevice in one of the upper branches, and left it there to flourish.

A bird seeding, I suspect and very likely one from the plant in my garden – anyway I like to think it is. The crow is back shouting his approval of the new roost and all now seems well in this tiny part of Littlehampton.

SORRY to read of the passing of Derek Whittaker. We were prefects at school together, he was in Raleigh House as I recall. I went to away to sea and Derek went on to greater things including local politics and public service.

When I moved back to Littlehampton in 1996 and I bought the house next door to his father’s old wet fish shop which, incidentally, still has the tiled floor in what is now the garage. There were problems in the area back then many of them due to rubbish dumping and Derek readily responded to calls for help.

He got himself involved in the community, a fine example for all local politicians to heed. It was good to see him again. That was long before I became a regular columnist in the Gazette. The years flow swiftly by.

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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