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Political parties set out their policies for the May 2 elections

Voting takes place next month to choose a new Arun District Council.

 

Electors across the area will have the chance on May 2 to select the person they believe will best represent the area in which they live.

 

All the council’s 54 seats on both sides of the River Arun will come up for election, with nearly 100 candidates standing across Bognor Regis alone.

 

Polling cards are being delivered to those eligible to have their say. Polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm.

 

The votes will be counted on May 3 and the results will be declared during the afternoon and evening.

 

The winners will take charge of Arun’s duties, such as planning, housing, environmental health and off-road parking.

 

Before the election, Arun had 42 Conservative members, there were seven Liberal Democrats, four Independents and one Labour representative.

 

At the same time, voting is also taking place for a new Bognor Regis Town Council and to fill seats on Middleton-on-Sea Parish Council and in Aldwick Parish Council’s West ward.

 

Those results will be declared as well on May 3.

 

Conservative Party

 

The political parties in the district have submitted the information below setting out their policies and what they would like to achieve if they were elected.

 

The main priority for Conservative candidates is to continue with low council tax and give value for money. Every service that Arun provides is done for just under £3.50 a week – just 10 per cent of the overall tax bill.

 

People expect and Conservatives deliver, a sound financial strategy which provides efficient and cost effective services for local residents.

 

Job creation continues to be one of our top priorities. We have allocated essential land for employment and will continue to support the economic regeneration of the district by creating better paid jobs, increasing the skills base and encouraging apprenticeships.

 

Housing is another key element and Arun has provided the greatest number of affordable homes in West Sussex over the last few years. We are also committed to building our own council houses again and will provide at least 250 new homes over the next few years and will ensure that local people always come first.

 

The council has recently built a new £16m leisure centre in Littlehampton, which is now open for business, and significant improvements have also been made to the Arun Leisure Centre.

 

Also, as part of our property investment strategy, the council has purchased The Arcade in Bognor Regis, which will generate an income in the long term to the benefit of the council taxpayer.
We have been very successful in getting funding from the Coastal Communities Fund for improvements to the town centres of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis and Conservatives are committed to the continued programme of regeneration of both towns, working with partners to make them attractive tourist destinations.

 

Conservatives do not make promises or pledges that cannot be kept but have a proven track record of delivering on those they have made.

 

Finally, Conservatives are committed to keeping a weekly bin collection, which we know is a priority for residents.

 

Green Party

 

The Green Party is delighted to be standing candidates in wards across the district.

 

For too long, our council has been dominated by one party, and this must been changed.

 

Our key challenge is to mitigate the damage threatened by the council’s destructive local plan, which is set to flood the area with swathes of housing over farmland and sites of importance for wildlife.

 

The controversial and badly thought-through proposed new A29 route will cause havoc for existing residents and bring thousands more cars to local roads. This is happening alongside West Sussex County Council’s announcement of more cuts to bus routes and public services.

 

Your Green candidates will fight for transport solutions that do not force everyone into cars, adding to the existing congestion and pollution on our roads.

 

Residents may be surprised to learn that Arun District Council does not have anyone publicly responsible for the environment – Greens mean to change this.

 

We will push for accountability across all departments to be co-ordinated by one person. This is crucial in the light of the climate change emergency that is being declared nationally.

 

We need policies that cut the use of fossil fuels – policies such as the use of sustainable energy, home insulation and public transport.

 

We will also promote the development of community services so that the people who live in the area are adequately supported.

 

We will fight for playing fields and green spaces, including orchards and allotments so that more food can be grown locally.

 

We will ask for a think tank on the reduction of green waste, and more efficient recycling services, including food waste.

 

We need our council to step up and take the lead on improving our environment for the benefit of the next generations, and we need Green councillors to achieve this.

 

Independents

 

A greater number of candidates than in recent years are seeking election to Arun District Council outside of the party political system.

 

The Independents have decided they can represent residents best, if they are elected, by being able to vote freely on each issue.

 

Those looking for votes on May 2 around the Bognor Regis area, and the wards in which they are standing, are:

 

  • Aldwick East – Hugh Coster, Tony Dixon;
  • Hotham – Steve Goodheart;
  • Marine – Jim Brooks;
  • Middleton-on-Sea: Shirley Haywood, Graham Jones;
  • Orchard: Phil Woodall;
  • Pagham: June Hamilton, David Huntley;
  • Pevensey: Sandra Daniells.

 

Contact the Independent councillors directly to find out about their policies.

 

Labour Party

 

This election is the most important election in the history of Bognor Regis.

 

For too long, our town has not been listened to by the Conservative-controlled Arun District Council.

 

They are pushing ahead with housing proposals in Pagham and Bersted against the wishes of residents, and despite promising regeneration of the two key sites at the Regis Centre and Hothamton for the past 30 years they have spectacularly failed to deliver.

 

The proposals for the Linear Park, along with blocks of flats, which do not guarantee the future of the health centre, and the Winter Gardens theme for the Regis Centre site, have been met with anger by residents and have no identified cash funding to take the plans forward.

 

Arun do not care about our local heritage as the demolition of much-loved buildings in Waterloo Square following neglect over many years has shown. Add to that the complete fiasco of the portable toilets on the promenade and one could be led to the conclusion the Conservative administration is not fit for purpose.

 

The Labour Party has a positive campaign with clear policies that is being well received on the doorsteps. Our main campaign pledges are:

 

  • Proper infrastructure and a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing in new housing developments

 

  • Promoting the Sir Richard Hotham scheme, delivering £80m of regeneration

 

  • Supporting our local shops with two-hours’ free parking at all town centre car parks

 

  • Protecting weekly bin collections, more often for some large communal refuse collection areas

 

  • Campaigning for reintroduction of police community support officers to curb rise in anti-social behaviour

 

Vote for Labour for proper regeneration, better infrastructure and fully funded council services.

 

We cannot carry on under Tory austerity and neglect any longer.

 

Liberal Democrat Party

 

Locally, the Liberal Democrats are the main opposition group challenging the Conservatives’ majority in Bognor Regis.

 

The size of the current Conservative majority means all decisions are made by a select few senior Conservatives.

 

As the Labour party has only one district councillor, this really is a two-horse race, and a vote for them will simply mean the Conservatives have a better chance at maintaining the status quo.

 

The issues of over-development of local farmland, stalled regeneration and the Conservatives’ plan to destroy the Sunken Garden in Bognor Regis are the big issues facing local people at this set of local elections.

 

Conservative-controlled Arun District Council chose to allocate 2,500 houses to be built off Chalcraft Lane and another 1,200 in Pagham.

 

The Liberal Democrats have consistently fought against this and put a proposal forward at Arun to remove the housing from Bersted and Pagham. Sadly, the Conservatives voted this down.

 

The Liberal Democrats understand housing is important but it has to be affordable. Housing also needs appropriate school places, doctors’ surgeries and parking. All of which the Conservatives are turning a blind eye to.

 

If the Liberal Democrats were the controlling group at Arun District Council, we would:

 

  • Transfer ownership of the town hall and other local amenities from Arun to the people of Bognor Regis, through the town council and other community groups
  • have a regeneration strategy that focuses on making the most of our seafront and promenade
  • reverse the decision to destroy the Sunken Garden and refurbish it instead
  • preserve and enhance our town’s heritage assets
  • make planning decisions more local
  • invest more in day centre activities for the elderly
  • invest in anti-social behaviour prevention

 

The councillors elected on May 2 will serve for four years. Bognor Regis is in desperate need of change.

 

Please demand better and support the Liberal Democrats!

 

UKIP

 

If you are, like most people in this country, heartily sick and tired of politics at this moment, allow UKIP to give you some facts which are not widely published or broadcast.

 

Locally – UKIP is fighting for the re-instatement of public transport, where bus services have been cut in several areas around Bognor Regis.

 

Also for the re-instatement of wardens in sheltered accommodation, where vulnerable elderly people have been left to fend for themselves.

 

We are also opposing the intended route of the A29 re-alignment through Shripney, as we strongly feel that this should join up with the Bognor Regis/Felpham bypass opposite Rolls-Royce, rather than cause congestion through Shripney.

 

We also oppose the £3m expenditure by Arun District Council on the Linear Park, replacing the Sunken Garden, children’s play park and some parking spaces. This is not what most people want, and cannot be classed as ‘regeneration’, rather a means to build more flats!

 

We will continue to support the work necessary to protect the properties facing the seafront at Pagham from flooding, and also support the flood group which springs into action when Shripney is at risk of flood.

 

Nationwide – UKIP’s priorites are: freedom of speech, training more doctors and nurses in this country for the NHS, reform of the voting system to have fairer proportional representation of the people, reform the police and judicial system for our greater protection from harm and fairer access to justice.

 

We will seek to lower business rates for small businesses to halt the closure of shops in town centres.

 

If you believe in what we stand for, vote UKIP in the local elections on May 2.

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