Combe Haven Defenders deliver tree to East Sussex County Council offices
Not deterred by the eviction of the camps on the route over thirty opponents of the £100 million Bexhill-Hastings link road visited East Sussex County Council in Lewes this week.
They didn't arrive empty handed however– they turned up with big bits of tree, left over from the felling at Adam's Farm. They then proceeded to wedge them into the doors of the council offices. The council's doormen seemed remarkably reluctant to take delivery of the boughs which ESCC has compulsorily purchased.
The council came together on Tuesday for a rare meeting of all 49 councillors to agree its 2013 budget, George Osborne will have been pleased to hear that his Tory cronies voted to spend public money on the Road - which will devastatethe Combe Haven valley - at the same time as it is making cuts of £ 70m, which will be borne mainly by children and vulnerable adults.
According to Combe Haven Defenders “Peter Jones, ESCC's bully boy has abandoned claims that the road will relieve congestion, constructing instead a myth of job creation, yet the day before the budget meeting, central Government announced £16m to regenerate seaside towns like Bexhill and Hastings, much of it sustainable and community-based. Westminster expects to generate 4000 jobs. This is more than four times total number of jobs that the Link Road might hope to create at a fraction of the cost.”
In a further development, a Freedom of Information request by Hastings Alliance revealed that the road has yet to receive final funding approval from the Central Government. However, the documents were heavily redacted and campaigners are demanding to know what other embarrassing information has been withheld.
There are an increasing number of autonomous affinity groups committed to resisting by direct action. Combe Haven Defenders are now joined by a Crowhurst residents group and a local Quaker affinity. The battle over Combe Haven is only just beginning.