Bognor Observer interview with Cllr Ricky Bower on 19th July 2012

The Bognor Observer published this week an interview with Cllr Ricky Bower.
He is quoted as saying that :-
“the notorious site for traffic delays would be a bad memory for motorists within 16 years”
That’s quite a time to wait for an improvement. The article did mention that “up to” 2000 houses would be needed to pay for the mythical road in the far future. Notice that “up to” was used rather than 2,230 which is the actual number.
Mr Bower also stated the following :-

“It will be gone by 2028”, he said. “The bottom line is that as far as this council is concerned, the Woodgate crossing has to be bridged”
“How it’s to be bridged I’m happy and I believe the council is happy to leave the decision to the residents of that area which is most likely to be affected by it. But the Woodgate Crossing must go”
This is a very strange statement and hardly makes any sense at all. Is he saying  that the residents  of this area should decide how to bridge the crossing themselves, which is really a bit beyond us, or, is he saying that we should fight among ourselves to decide on the best route for the road ?  Either way the Council appears quite happy to let us decide for ourselves. He also seems to be very unsure about the route of the proposed road. Is this a very fair way to present a Local Plan to residents who are left uncertain which route a proposed road will take ?  Why has this been done ?
Are Mr Bower’s statements an indication that he expects us all to fight each other in order to prevent a road across our own patch, thus taking the pressure off Arun District Council?
This appears to mean that the Council does not care at all for the residents of this area and effectively has said that the crossing must go whatever the cost to your local area and quality of life.  The article also shows a complete disregard for the opinions of the local populace.  The Consultation Period has only just opened and the Council has already reached its conclusion before we have had a chance to say anything. This does not bode well for the Consultation Process.
This statement should be a clear rallying call for the residents of Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate and Aldingbourne to UNITE against  Arun District Council’s plans for this area. 
They seem determined to destroy our area with 2230 houses for the far future promise of a road. What sort of a promise is that ?
Would you believe a 16 year promise from any politician today ?
So, in summary, what Mr Bower  and Arun District Council seem to be offering us all, is up to 16 years(from 2014) of continually worsening traffic jams and pollution, with massive house building throughout the Villages and a promise that one day, a road may be built to relieve the terrible jams. The only problem is that the road, if and when it comes would be far too late because the area would already have double or triple the amount of traffic compared to today due to 4,000 extra cars from the new houses plus extra Bognor traffic that would come with any bypass and bridge. A true nightmare scenario.

The Consultation Process has already begun and if you want to see a video of Cllr Bower explaining Arun’s plans for the future then just click here onto the Arun DC website

The Proposal Maps may be found here.

It would greatly assist our campaign if you would make your views  and opinions known  to your local Councillors  and MP (Nick Herbert), as well as some of the chief architects of the Local Plan and the Government. Please do not be complacent because with or without a bypass our area is being targeted for housing development.

You could ask, where is your democratic choice as to where the houses are built? There is only one choice – the Villages.  Also, whatever happened to Option 1 which was the lower rate of house building of 400 per annum.

Or, Why are you targeting Prime agricultural land when there are many suitable Brownfield sites in the district. ? At a time of growing food shortages it is morally wrong to cover such irreplaceable food growing land with concrete, when there are suitable brownfield areas elsewhere.

You could also ask where is all the extra flood water going to end up when we have more deluges with even less Green fields to absorb it. To concrete land North of Bognor Regis and Felpham is surely madness when the last floods recently were blamed upon the Aldingbourne Rife !

Please copy your emails to  Cllr Bower and Cllr Brown and  the Dept of Communities and Local Gov (for record purposes).

Your 3 local Councillors for Barnham Ward are:-

Cllr John Charles                                                  Email:
Cllr. Mrs Jean Goad                                              Email:

Cllr. Dougal Maconachie                                    Email:

MP Nick Herbert:-                    Westminster   House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
         Tel: 020 7219 4080

Send copies to the following :-

Cllr Ricky Bower,                                                     Email:

Cllr Gillian Brown (Leader)                                    Email:
Dept of Communities and Local Government   Email:

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6 Responses to Bognor Observer interview with Cllr Ricky Bower on 19th July 2012

  1. Mrs. Watts says:

    I’m very happy to write to all these people .They are our elected representatives. Do they want to be re elected? Is there anybody living in the area who suports these proposals? Or are the only people interested in getting this through those with another agenda. Where does Ricky Bower live? So far, this particular bit of the South coast has managed to avoid the ribbon development and large scale building which has blighted the rest of the south coast from Newhaven to Littlehampton. I moved here 26 years ago because it had none of that and comprised small villages. I don’t see why we should be blackmailed with this undertaking. Central government could come up with the finances to give us a crossing at Woodgate. It spends millions on overseas development, what about our development? Once all this land has been built on , it can never be reclaimed. It will be lost forever, through ill thought out development, greed and short term thinking.

    • VAG says:

      You can find the complete list of names and addresses of Councillors and the Wards that they represent on the Arun Website. Search the right hand box “Council and Democracy”.
      Then in the middle box click on “Arun District Councillors”. Then, select Alphabetical List.

  2. iantruin says:

    I looked at the addresses of the Councillors. Cllr Ricky appears to live in East Preston which is down for 30 new homes over the period of the plan. I wonder how he would like an extra 2300 next to him? Tricky eh Ricky?
    I trust that if, during the consultation process, anyone describes dissenters as NIMBYs, as only one Arun Councillor appears to live in the 6 Villages I think that they are almost all pre-qualified for such a description.
    I have written to my 3 Barnham councillors (only one of whom lives in the ward) and asked for their opinions on the proposals. One has replied so far, promising to set out his stall during the consultation process. I await the other replies.
    I have also written to Nick Herbert, my MP, to request his involvement in the issue.

  3. Does anyone know whether Nick Herbert MP is supporting the Eastergate/Aldingbourne/Barnham community? It all seems rather quiet in his direction.

    Do any local Conservatives know the position of our MP?

    • VAG says:

      The Villages Action Group has written to our MP, Mr Nick Herbert, to ask for his support.
      I will post his reply as soon as we receive it.

  4. Mrs. Watts says:

    I await his reply to my round robin e-mail!! As if.

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