Opinion - Ed Smith
Lewes is currently faced with a number of issues. How
they are decided could immeasurably change the face of this
little town. We rely on our local councillors to make decisions
for us, whether they’re town-wide ones like the Phoenix
development or more local issues like the flint wall at the
Dripping Pan and the old trees in the Grange. You can’t
help wonder, however, who our civil servants are really serving.
We, the voting public, elect town and district councillors
to represent our views and further our needs. Increasingly,
though, policy decisions are being made that seem to fly in
the face of local popular opinion. I find it hard to believe
that over 50% of the voting public are in favour of fighting
the Falmer Stadium. Nobody, it seems, is comfortable with
the direction the Phoenix development seems to be taking.
And although there are supporters of the parking scheme as
a general concept, most would argue that the present system
is at best ill thought out, and at worst the beginning of
the end for our town centre.
A little accountability would go a long way towards restoring
public confidence in our civic leaders. Never to my knowledge
has anyone stepped forward and explained any of the important
decisions the council has made on our behalf or talked us
through the reasoning behind it. A register of local councillors
should be set up noting their stance on the matters that are
important to Lewesians. That way, when the next council elections
come around, we can more easily vote out those we feel are
unrepresentative of us and our views.