Courage of convictions

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IT IS sad, but not surprising, that Councillor Plowman now feels he is “persona non grata” after suggesting that a new settlement at Ford Airfield should be considered to resolve the housing needs of both Chichester and Arun Districts.

When the authors of the Ford Enterprise Hub proposal made an Eco-Town submission, that would utilise the largest available brownfield site in West Sussex, Nick Herbert MP said on his website: “One of the things that I think has been unforgivable has been the campaign of people in other villages, not so far from here, who were promoting the Ford site as a means of preventing development in their own community, deliberately setting one community against another.”

Mr Herbert was unable to accept that members of the community he represents might want to put forward their own ideas to improve the prospects of their district/county.

Nor could he come to terms with anyone suggesting development outside their own parish boundary. So much for Localism!

The suggestion that we were “deliberately setting one community against another” was a smear in order to avoid open-minded consideration of a new settlement on brownfield land at Ford.

The sort of “tactic” we have all come to expect from politicians.

I hope that Councillor Plowman will not have to endure similar abuse from Mr Herbert or his disciples.

I also hope that Councillor Plowman will have the courage to follow his own instincts, remain focused on resolving the chronic housing, employment and infrastructure problems we face in West Sussex, speak freely, and not be deterred by those who seek to make him “persona non grata”.

Tony Dixon

Barons Close, Westergate