DOZY’S RAMBLES: Stand together against hate crime in the community

Mike Mendoza
Mike Mendoza
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I received some worrying news this week that it is possible that the agricultural land by the Saltings roundabout (entrance to the airport on the A259) could well be built upon for housing!

It appears that ministers have given developers the right to be granted “planning in principle” in areas that are earmarked for new housing schemes, meaning that a number of new homes in greenfield areas in England will be given automatic planning permission – Mash Barn, Adur Rec, Saltings Farm land.

The principle had been in place for brownfield sites but the paper says documents show that it will also apply to “housing identified in local plans and neighbourhood plans” which include Greenfield areas.

Councils will be able to block certain technical details of developments, but will not have the outright ability to block schemes they consider inappropriate.

Surely this is totally undemocratic?

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I had great pleasure in interviewing Sgt Peter Allan from Sussex Police this week.

Sgt Allan is in charge of the Sussex Police Hate Crime department.

It was explained to me that life is a challenge for most of us in one way or another, but those challenges can be added to for some if they are targeted because of a personal characteristic.

Sometimes this is race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity, or something else that is harmful to individuals and can be corrosive to communities.

This is hate crime and Sussex Police is looking for individuals who can provide information and support those who may become victims.

To unpick some of the myths around hate crime, Sussex Police is planning to host sessions that will see more people sign up to be Hate Crime Ambassadors in the communities of Sussex.

They will be given information about what hate crime is, how it can be reported and what happens when it is.

So, what is a Hate Crime Ambassador and who can get involved?

Sussex Police are looking for people who are interested in raising awareness of what hate crime is and encouraging victims to report to police or partner agencies across Sussex.

Applicants will need to attend a two-hour coaching session, and you will have the opportunity to refresh and enhance your knowledge and understanding at yearly seminars.

Sgt Allan said: “The more people we have across Sussex who have an understanding of hate crime and the impact it can have on communities, increases our knowledge and confidence to be able to say, ‘We Stand Together’ against hate crime.”

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Hate Crime Ambassador please contact peter.allan@sussex.pnn.police.uk

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I was talking to the good people at Hunters Recruitment in High Street, Shoreham, who inform me that they have a shortage of people who want jobs!

Right now Hunters have dozens of jobs available for all types of work in and around our area.

If you are one of those who is currently unemployed and find it frustrating to find work, pop in and say hello, you never know, it could be your lucky day and they are really nice people working in there.

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I hope I never have to mention the Wild Life festival again, but as delighted as I am that the only question being asked by the Licencing Committee to consider was about the sound levels, the application was passed in favour of the promoters.

So far, despite rumours, there has been no question or application about increasing the numbers who can attend, so maybe they are happy to stick with what was previously approved.

All that said, I was shocked to see that one councillor requested a recorded vote and this was refused!

In my 40-plus years of being involved in council committees, I have never heard a council officer telling a councillor that a recorded vote would not be allowed (unless the rules have suddenly been changed).

Surely this is a democratic right?

One councillor was also refused the right to speak on the topic because his ward was adjacent to the festival site.

Surely this is why councillors are elected?

They are there to represent their constituents and pass on the worries and concerns of local residents.

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Well done and congratulations to West Sussex County Council in seeing sense and allowing the ribbons to remain on the Old Toll Bridge.

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