Close to a riot

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I have raised the issue regarding the poor conditions at CLC (County Local Committee) meetings a couple of times over the last 18 months. The problem is the lack of good sound.

The recent Adur CLC meeting in Shoreham was a complete disaster.

As the meeting started, many members of the audience asked for the chairman and others to speak up. There was a negative response and the entire audience shouted that they could not hear. It was pretty close to a riot.

The chairman shouted back that she was not going to raise her voice and told the audience that they should move to the front of the hall. Many were herded like sheep to the front of the hall but it made little difference.

The agenda seemed to be changed and the continuing problems of Ferry Road were mentioned but it was difficult to understand what was happening.

The chairman had shouted that it was not a public meeting and nobody could join in. She made a prepared statement, condemning officers at County Hall and at Adur District Council for delays and mismanagement.

While I could not hear all of this, I heard enough to be horrified by her comments. She and the two other Conservative councillors had been on Adur District Council when the decisions had been made. I had been a county councillor on the Adur bridge committee and had thought that we had everything sorted out.

There was another item on the agenda, where ratepayers’ funds were being given to local groups. This was also a disaster.

I had no idea to whom thousands of pounds of residents’ money was being given. The councillors made comments but since clarity of speech and correct use of English is not a requirement at council, the comments made were lost or misunderstood.

The representative of the Shoreham Centre who required funding for the refurbishment of part of the building was as clear as a bell, despite the fact he spoke with his back to me. I congratulated him on him presentation after the meeting.

I have to wonder whether CLCs are worth the effort.

Brian Coomber

Adur district councillor St Nicolas Ward

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