LETTER: Spirit of Act is being broken

It's a bit rich for certain Eastbourne councillors to accuse opponents of the sell-off of Eastbourne downland of issuing misinformation. Their assertion that selling a freehold is not the same as selling land is misinformation, if there ever was.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 9:31 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:51 pm

As for their claim that the land is protected by covenants; All Saints Hospital was protected by a covenant, was it not? So was Whitehouse School in Hailsham, before being ousted by the almighty Tesco. Money talks and, faced with that, a covenant isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. A freehold is, though.

Several months ago, when the sale was first announced, we pointed to the Eastbourne Corporation Act and the promise that the land was to be kept for the free and unrestricted use of the people of Eastbourne in perpetuity. As Robin Armstrong says, the spirit of this Act is being broken.

The Government’s long-term aim is to make local government entirely independent of central funding. In view of this, it looks like madness to sell off an on-going source of revenue, in return for a one-off cash hike.

John Boyle’s observations on Donald Trump’s devastation of Aberdeenshire are interesting. One is almost put in mind of Europeans travelling to the Americas, then buying and selling the land over the heads of the indigenous peoples.

Martin Hillman

and David Ellis

Hawks Road, Hailsham

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