WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL
WATER CONTAMINATION - A planning application that was received in September 2018, is in connection with one of the most controversial grants ever to be made under the dubious lead of Kelvin Williams and Charlie Lant, both officers now ousted from their former positions in Wealden District Council.
The problem now for those who are left to pick up the pieces, is how to give the developers something for their efforts without breaking Environmental laws or becoming a party to criminal pollution from future users of the proposed houses, that is beyond their control and where conditions would be unenforceable - as would doubtless be part of any claim in damages from those affected by the inevitable pollution.
If houses are built on the hill at Lime Cross, that supplies the last surviving well in Herstmonceux, all of those who presently enjoy a sustainable water supply from the oldest working well in the village are likely to be poisoned by pesticides from a number of the gardens of the proposed housing - at the moment that looks like being 28 units positioned directly above and in the groundwater soakage line of fire. In addition, where the hard standings of the proposed 70 houses are to be gully drained to a point lower than the twin wells, rainwater soakage that supplies the wells will be diverted away potentially starving the wells of water, save that from the garden areas that are impossible to gully. The amusing cartoon above portrays the situation that perhaps the developers were not aware of, when they bought into a situation that they should have been able to rely on.
Unfortunately, the council concerned and the advisers to the original applicants appear to have been less diligent than they might have been, possibly caught up in the rush to profit from a windfall situation. The question that is probably on your lips is: "Was that an oversight, or was it deliberate"? Five of the councillors giving consent in 2015 are still on the APS committee in 2018, while seven are newcomers. Those who served previously will now be faced with new information that was not given to them when that Committee voted by one to give consent. The incoming Members will have a lot to grapple with to catch up but may find that the issues have been distilled from the large number of objectors who are concerned about village over-development with insufficient services and protections.
Information that was not provided by the then vendor, Tim Watson, or Developer Gleeson Developments may be laid at their foot, for the onus was on them to survey the land properly in relation to any potential contamination. There can be no doubt that Gleeson and their advisers knew of the wells in Lime Park, just as they knew that surface water run off through the private ponds would lead to flooding and was beyond their control. Though, this information appears not to have found its way to Latimer Developments, Thakeham Homes or the Clarion Housing Group - or maybe it has and they simply do not care.
Another problem that is rearing it's head with many developments is that corporations are building what they want to build without constructing the affordable unit quotient or making improvement to drainage and access roads that some council's have been kind enough to overlook at the grant stage with a promise from developers to overcome, when in fact those developers simply vanish without trace, leaving nobody to pick up the tab for the breaches of contract they have engineered. In other words development is never completed to a stage where flooding and other contamination measures are safe.
In addition, the Pevensey and Cuckmere Water Level Management Board concluded that the developer's water management ‘strategy’ was certain to result in flooding on site and off site (in Lime Park) because the pipes into the ponds are far too small/not designed for heavy duty runoff, and there are legal obstacles to changing them. Building in yet more water pollution issues, but this time at the other end of the field, where the developer has proposed dealing with surface water through a pond not under the control of the developer, so leaving the developer unable to provide what is required in law if such application if granted.
These are issues that we are sure would cause concern to the Secretaries of State for the Environment (Michael Gove), Housing (James Brokenshire), Culture (Jeremy Wright) and the Prime Minister, where Theresa May is quoted as being concerned at the housing shortage from years of lackluster performance from developers and local authorities. That said, cutting corners that will lead to future complications is not the way to fill the financial void from central Treasury cuts, even if Liz Truss believes otherwise.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - This is the oldest and only working well in the village of Herstmonceux. We have become so used to mains water that we have forgotten about our roots. That is what makes this well just a few hundred yards outside of this Sussex village so important.
ROUNDUP - Allowing houses to be built in such close proximity to a working well is madness. You might as well pour weedkiller, paints and oils directly into this drinking water. But who will the claims of contamination and illness be against?
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, OCTOBER 2018 - This fountain is fed from the old well at Herstmonceux. Anyone may imbibe the health giving qualities of this natural water supply, such as ramblers and visitors to Lime Park. It is a criminal offence with unlimited fines for any person who pollutes groundwater. By this means wells such as this last surviving working example in the village are protected in law. Alternative water supplies from wells are needed as reserves in case of pollution of reservoirs and other (aquifers) supplies. Bottled water being a last resort in emergencies. SDG 6 of the United Nations sustainability goals concerns safeguarding water supplies.
HAILSHAM OFFICES - It's easy for a council to generate income from granting themselves planning consent on one site and then selling off another when it becomes prime real estate. These are the recently developed offices at Hailsham, it has to be said; almost totally devoid of climate change offset features. Wealden sold off their offices in Crowborough much to the annoyance of local residents. We would like to know why this Council built two buildings in the first place when one is more than sufficient in a sustainable world? This is another example of a council wasting tax dollars with poor management decisions, in the process creating tons of carbon dioxide.
NEWS JULY 23 2015 -
Wealden Council planning policy has been dealt a second blow within a matter of weeks.
Cllr Ann Newton, Wealden cabinet portfolio holder for planning said: “The progress we have now made is an opportunity to move forward with a range of smaller sustainable developments which are not reliant on building on greenfield sites close to the forest.” Cllr Newton added: “Whilst I am happy to see that we are now in a position to see certain development with the mitigation take place, it is not open season for unsustainable speculative development in Ashdown Forest and surrounding areas.”
What everyone seems to be missing here is the double standard this Council are applying, asking everyone else to supply a carbon statement for new (or even permitted) development but where their own Nottingham declaration is wide of the mark. For example at P4 of their MOU: "Encourage renewable energy to be incorporated in all new developments where appropriate."
Where this Council acknowledges the need for a 1% reduction (at least) each year until 2050 - hence a 60% reduction over 1990 levels, then all new builds must be near zero carbon to achieve the savings.
THE WISHES OF THE MANY - In our view Mr Edmonds and the Ministers contacted are justifiably concerned as to Wealden District Council ignoring the wishes of the public and the needs of our wounded soldiers. Council officers are civil servants, not gods sitting on a throne deciding who gets what and the price it is going to cost them. All to often, councils put a legal spanner in the works just to hike up those costs to make whatever the proposal is too expensive to pursue. In this manner they retain their empire and build their part at the expense of the taxpayer who is more than likely not being fairly represented by the members of these councils. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAo-xyIEEkI
GLOBAL WARMING - The Sun provides us with an infinite supply of energy upon which all life on earth depends. Our blue planet has experienced many climate changes in its history, including the ice age when amazing creatures such a the Dinosaurs and Mammoths suffered extinction. Man is artificially warming the planet by burning fossil fuels in some kind of economic arms race that cannot be sustained and must be brought under control if we are not to extinguish the lives of many more species such as the Polar Bears in the Arctic.
UCKFIELD NEWS JULY 9 2015 - 7km Ashdown Forest rule dropped but council says developers must prove plans will not harm forest. The Ashdown Forest 7km rule has been removed from Wealden District Council’s Core Strategy Local Plan.
COUNCILLORS SERVING IN 2017 INTO 2018
- Jo Bentley
- John Blake - Bob
Bowdler - Don Broadbent
- Norman Buck - Raymond Cade -
- Lin Clark
AONB - Not a bad view, but in our opinion this does not quite make it for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is according to Wealden. There are much better views to be seen. Who draws up the boundaries and how are scenes assessed? Time for a review perhaps. Copyright photograph © January 2018 Climate Change Trust Hx.
Local Government Act 1972
VILLAGE BOTTLENECKS - This is a typical country village strewn with potholes and repair craters that soak up energy from cars. Wealden District and East Sussex County Councils are not providing charging points for electric vehicles to help make them more popular with motorists. There is not a single charging point in Herstmonceux. Councils represent the log-jam that is keeping our air quality so poor that Europe has serious concerns - enough to summon Michael Gove to explain Conservative inadequacies.
95 Pecuniary interests for purposes of section 94.
Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322
CONSERVATIVES - What cost to the country incompetence? Sloppiness, Negligence and the failure of Members and Officers to declare their interests?
Don't let complacency get the better of the United Kingdom, keep your Council representatives on their toes - you'll be doing the country a service and your vigilance may help to dig us out of the extraordinary National Debt that we have built up over many years of overspending.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING RELOCATING TO WEALDEN OR A CAREER IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION THAN THE COUNCIL WILL LET ON :
* The residents of Wealden District Council (WDC) are obliged to pay one of the highest rate levies in the country.
* This council has been found guilty of maladministration umpteen times and lost many cases at appeal and in the High Court.
* This council has been severely criticised by Planning Inspectors, the County Court and the High Court for its unreasonable behaviour.
* The transport network is substandard like a choking bottleneck to strangle businesses, especially the A27 and A22, roads that should have been modernized to at least dual carriageways, but preferably motorways about 20 years ago, by way of Pothole Politics.
* The Nolan Committee recommend no council officer serves more than 5 years to prevent cosy relationships forming. In Wealden DC most senior officers have served 15 years or more and enjoy working with outside consultants, who employ ex council officers. Clearly, this is a recipe for disaster.
* Some cases would be so damaging to this council, if they came into the public domain, this council have obtained gagging orders when settling claims of compensation.
Members who challenge officers on any issue will find themselves the subject of embarrassing rebukes, formal letters from officers reminding them of their duties, etc. The plain fact is, the officers work for the Members and the Members represent the electorate. All too often we find cases where officers have accused Members of impropriety in public, to eliminate these members from the decision making process. It works because the Member so accused is then forced to declare an interest and excuse himself. This tactic is adopted when an officer is about to be exposed and is a last resort. However, these tactics are also contrary to the Council's constitution, where such public accusations hardly boost public confidence in the integrity of the Council. It's got to stop!
The Councillors below meet together as a Full Council several times a year. During these assemblies they decide the Council's overall policies and budgets. The Council's Chairman, Vice Chairman and Leader are elected annually. A Cabinet comprising 8 members is appointed by the Leader's recommendation, which group takes major decisions the Council may take. Other Committees are also formed to decide various issues such as waste management and planning control. You may ask a PUBLIC QUESTION if you put in your request in good time and the Council must respond in public and confirm their response in writing.
Policies are implemented through the Chief Executive and six Chief Officers who manage the departments and services the Council provides. Therefore, it is essential that Councillors appoint officers fit to carry out their duties.
The Development Control Sub-Committees (North and South) meet on a four weekly basis to determine planning applications and deal with other development control functions. This Council employs around 600 staff in offices at Hailsham.
Peter the Town rat is lurking in every corner to muddy the waters. In all dealings with your local or national representatives you are advised to record meetings and photograph anything that may be useful for reference purposes at a later date. Don't let Peter trip you up with his secret scribblings. Open everything up to scrutiny. It is your duty as a concerned citizen and a reliable record may save you a bob or two some way down the line.
Citizens have a number of rights in their dealings with the Council. They may ask public questions, enquire of the Monitoring Officer as to the legality of any decision, action or refusal to take action. You may lobby the members and the members, seen below, have a duty to properly investigate issues. You will find some of the more senior members may not be as enthusiastic as they once were, but you may find a champion in the ranks if it is for a worthwhile cause, so don't give up hope. Local and General Elections are the time when you can vote for someone that stands for your ideals.
For further detailed information on how the Council operates download a copy of their Constitution (pdf file - 236kb) or contact Martyn Garrett, Member Services Manager, on 01892 602433 or e mail: email@example.com
UK MAP - A typical country road that is strewn with potholes and repair craters that soak up energy from cars. Wealden District and East Sussex County Councils are not providing charging points for electric vehicles to help make them more popular with motorists. Councils represent the log-jam that is keeping our air quality so poor that Europe has serious concerns - enough to summon Michael Gove to explain Conservative inadequacies.
COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM 2006
You'll notice that some councillors from seven years ago are still in evidence in 2018, having failed to make a dent in the housing shortage or provide affordable housing for young families, such that they may avoid the poverty trap and become financial slaves to greedy landlords.
The Commission carried out an electoral review of Wealden between September 2015 - December 2016. The aim of the review was to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections and recommend ward boundaries that means each councillor represented approximately the same number of electors.
The Wealden (Electoral Changes) Order 2016, to implement recommendations made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) for new boundaries in Wealden, was made on 15 December 2016.
Draft order laid in Parliament
- On 27 October 2016 the Wealden (Electoral Changes) Order 2016 was laid in draft in Parliament.
Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322
CLEAN ENERGY - This Council said NO, the Secretary of State said YES. Why would any council refuse permission for wind turbines where they have a duty to make CO2 reductions? Councillors and civil servant officers are there to carry out the wishes of the public - not pursue their own agendas. Not only that, but in forcing an appeal situation this Council was wasting you Taxes. This is your money they are pouring down the drain, then hiking up Council Tax to pay for their bloody mindedness. Clearly, we need fresh blood at the helm if this spending spree of public money is to be called to a halt.
Representation of the People Act 1983
- 1983 CHAPTER 2
LEADER 2018 - Councillor
Robert Standley is
the current leader of Wealden District Council and has been for some time, hence
he must know about and be working hard to tackle climate change and the
lack of affordable housing in this geographical area of East Sussex.
Maybe he should instruct his planners to look at pre fabricated units with
energy harvesting features built in. His Council might also like to consider
promoting electric vehicles and working toward building the necessary infrastructure.
Planning ahead for in the fight for a sustainable future is all about making
provision for what is needed. Bob's Council is used to acting
retrospectively. Prevention is better than cure Bob! Didn't your doctor ever
mention that to you?