Give the people their voice back

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The contempt with which the committee of the Bexhill Town Forum hold their members was demonstrated at the last forum when the chairman growled at the audience that they must keep themselves under control.

He seems to imagine they are about to riot.

The forum used to be a place where members were able to make mini presentations, where there was genuine free debate.

Who can forget the fiery address from Jackie, the Dunselma owner, who was wildly applauded and the fervent pleas from Kirsten for a safety fence for the little ones in the park.

And you couldn’t beat the cafe owner at the Colonnade for entertainment value.

The last ‘forum’ was merely a lecture from smart young strangers in suits extolling the virtues of the first new housing estates planned for north Sidley.

They promised all sorts of good things, especially for the badgers. However, they seemed to be flummoxed by the young girl in the audience who asked if there had been a survey on future pollution levels from the new housing.

It was obviously outside their remit and why should it matter?

They don’t live here and they don’t care.

This was followed by a report from John Shaw, remember him?

He was the man who wanted to build a giant block of offices on the promenade.

Polite questions were allowed. However, the pretence of allowing forum members to speak was ruined having been strategically placed at the end of the agenda so that the lady’s voice was drowned out by the loud clatter of half the audience hurriedly exiting.

Formerly, she would have been able to speak from the front and early in the programme.

By the way, did you see the chairman of the forum on South East news applauding the work still in progress on the link road?

His message was: “Does it matter to me if it is six months late?”

Followed by the rather ambiguous statement: “No I think I’d rather have it right on time than bad.” What?

However, he seems to be in favour of what is happening.

I don’t think the beleaguered traders of Sidley would agree with him.

Also, I know the members of the forum would not.

Yet Mr Bierse spoke under the aegis of his position as chairman of the forum and it might appear that this is the opinion of the members. Certainly not!

The forum belongs to the people.

They pay for it. They should control it.

The committee is there to serve it, not to dictate its format.

The council and big business seems to be getting more power over it.

Give the people back their voice before it is too late.

John Mason

Sackville Road

Bexhill

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