I MUST admit to being thoroughly bemused by the comments of Tony Nicholson, the Seaford-based Leader of the Lewes District Council Conservatives, as reported in the Gazette in the past.
Mr Nicholson wants to seemingly uproot all Lewes District Council administration and transfer it lock, stock and barrel to Newhaven sometime in the future once his party have achieved control of LDC.
While I can appreciate he has only been on Lewes District Council since 2007, he seems to be unaware - at least, I assume so - that only back in 2005 it was mooted that a general reorganisation of local government would, as a cost-saving measure, abolish LDC altogether and transfer its responsibilities partly to a new East Sussex unitary authority and partly down the line to town and parish councils.
At the time of the last purely Conservative central government administration, local Tories in the majority were firmly set against a town council for Seaford, the town that councillor Nicholson now represents.
Had they not been overcome by a resolute campaign by local Liberal Democrats to introduce a town council for Seaford, there would have been a chaotic period where a town council would have had to have been cobbled up out of somewhere at short notice to assume devolved powers, rather than the steady progress the present council has undertaken since its inception in 1999.
Although the abolition of LDC was a measure proposed by the previous Labour administration, it is difficult to imagine that some form of reorganisation to streamline the present three-tier system of local government would not be at least be considered by cllr Nicholson’s masters at Tory Central Office, in the present climate of seeking to reduce overall government costs.
Any plans meantime to relocate LDC out of Lewes elsewhere - and let’s not forget, Lewes does lie geographically squarely in the centre of the LDC administration area, and does not critically rely on a swing bridge for communications from one side of town to the other, as Newhaven does - would seem to be me a sheer waste of council tax money and officer time.
Perhaps councillor Nicholson will tell us whether this proposed move will form part of the Conservative manifesto for the May 2011 elections?
Councillor Bob Brown
Ringmer Road, Seaford