I recently attended the Arun Council Development meeting held on August 8 to discuss the proposed development of the Hook Lane field.
This was the first time I have attended a council meeting and I was surprised and amazed by some of the proceedings.
The two councillors (June Hamilton, above, and David Huntley) representing Pagham – which is the district most affected – were for some reason both not given a vote. The strange reason given was that they had predetermined views.
I couldn’t understand this as everyone who spoke had predetermined views and seemed to have already decided which way they were going to vote no matter what arguments were made for or against.
The most disturbing thing was that two councillors who were against the development were not allowed to vote whereas those for the development who had predetermined views were.
This is an interesting tactic but not one which would generally be available for most democratic votes.
If you don’t like the way someone is likely to vote, then just deny them a vote. Simples.
It is not something you would normally associate with western democracies but something you would expect to see in Russia, China or North Korea or most dictatorships.
I’m sure Boris Johnson would like to have the same option available to him. He could get his Brexit policies through Parliament without any bother at all.
Maybe someone from Arun District Council (chief executive Nigel Lynn, perhaps) could explain why the residents of Pagham were totally disenfranchised from a vote on a development which totally affects all of them while representatives of other areas could vote.
I look forward to hearing any views.