As I prepare to stand down as leader of East Sussex County Council, I can celebrate two victories over scare mongering protestors; one several years ago in relation to building an incinerator and just recently final Government approval and funding for a new road to link the towns of Bexhill and Hastings.
Both projects involved long and complex consultation, planning, public enquiry and court processes and both ignited a storm of protest from so-called environmentalists. The incinerator gave us protestors climbing up cranes and our short (3.5 mile) new road has so far seen them camping up in trees and holes in the ground. Both projects bring great advantages to our communities; the incinerator means effectively 90% recycling and electricity for 25,000 homes while the road will drive regeneration through the construction of 2,000 houses and new business parks providing at least 3000 jobs.
Our latest road project is the first of a hundred plus schemes nationwide to start construction and so has become the focus for a vicious campaign of opposition by anti-road groups, mostly peopled from outside our area. They have targeted us presumably to try and undermine the determination of others as well as trying to stop us. As with the incinerator, we have so far been able to defeat the antis latest antics
and would be happy to share our experiences with others who are yet to start their projects.