In the context of Potholes, it had been said to me that Midhurst didn’t have many of them – Col ‘Tex’ Pemberton the Highways Cabinet member until recently is from up the road in Haslemere – and I can say that the roads did seem quite a bit smother than they are around here. Not just the main roads, like the A272 or A286, but the little country lanes in between (we got a bit lost and then decided to look for the Three Moles in Selham).
Also, at West Dean we saw several police officers. Some were dedicated to helping direct traffic on and off the site, despite there being marshals who were doing the same thing. Yes, it was a busy place, but at least half a dozen coppers? I know that crime in Sussex went down recently, but I didn’t think that the boys in blue had nothing better to do.
And while railing at the West Sussex establishment as we drove around the area, I realised that we were moving into the area that is known as the ‘West Weald’ and which was going to be in the South Downs National Park before WSCC and Chichester District started to complain at the loss of power that it would represent (they don’t really want the National Park at all). It’s beautiful around there in the Wealden heathland, and the Black Down dominates the area.
Why would ‘conservatives’ oppose a National Park, which is aimed at ‘conserving’ the character of an area? Well, they want to have control of planning and a NP Authority would usurp that. You see, while they would be happy to agree with conserving things from some developments, there are some very influential parties in that part of West Sussex who take an entirely different view when it means that money can be made. It is these who would lose out if a National Park restricts development, even if it is supposed to be keeping the countryside beautiful. The same people who ensure that their local roads are well kept and that the local police are there in force for rural shows even if they are missing in urban areas don’t want their little paradise spoilt by not being able to control it as much as they can