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burgess hill town council consultationTown Council Vote 'NO' AGAIN For Public Consultation About Burgess Hill Town Centre

27th November 2014
By Peter Chapman

A motion that would have seen Burgess Hill Town council consult with the public on plans for the development of the town centre was defeated on Monday evening.

Cllr Janice Henwood (Lib Dem) put foward the motion which would have seen a letter sent to every household in Burgess Hill, outlining what the developers plans were along with making the public aware that the disitrct council were not planning on replacing the Martlets Hall and how Lidl was going to be moved to a residential area. There would have been a feedback form for people to fill out and return to the council in a number of convenient ways.

Every Conservative Councillor and 'Independent' Denis Jones voted against the motion with only Cllrs Henwood, Andrews, Smith and Barton in favour of it.

The motion was brought to the full council after Cllrs Simpson, Barrett-Miles, Thomas-Atkin and D.Jones decided at a Key Area group meeting on November 10th that no consulation should take place.

Here are your town councillors, voting NO to a consultation with the public about Burgess Hill town centre.

North Korea Defeat A Second Motion At Same Meeting
Another motion was also defeated on Monday evening where the same majority councillors and Denis Jones voted against Cllr David Andrews (Labour) request that the town council should share information with ALL councillors and not keep it solely amoung the ruling group.

The minority councillors have been kept in the dark over proposals for the town centre and the plans for the 1000's of new homes in the northern arc and thus had been unable to answer questions put to them by residents in the wards of which they represent.

It should come as no shock that Cllrs Ian Simpson, Andrew Barrett-Miles, Denis Jones and co all voted against freely sharing information. The North Korean set-up at Burgess Hill Town Council continues.

Anne Jones - Worst Chairman In Council History?

Another story to come out of Monday's meeting was just how Cllr Anne Jones should not be the chairman. She has no idea about procedures, the right to reply, how to keep order and essentially let Cllrs Ian SImpson and Andrew Barrett-Miles run the show. In short, the meeting was an utter shambles and not how a council should conduct things.

When the two motions were being read out by the minority councillors, Simpson and Barrett-Miles were rudely talking throughout, such is their arrogance.The complete disrespect they have for councillors not from their own political party was plain to see. Anne Jones finally told them to hush after a few minutes of Dave Andrew's motion, yet they were soon chatting loudly again and did the same thing when Janice Henwood spoke.

If Cllrs Simpson and Barrett-Miles don't like how 'opposition' councillors are allowed to talk at meetings, then maybe they should resign from the council instead of embarassing themselves with their behaviour.

Cllr David Andrews Threatened With Ejection

During the discussion of David Andrew's motion that all information held by the council should be shared to all councillors, Andrew Barrett-Miles said that if all information is shared then it can lead to red herrings appearing in the newspaper and god knows wherever else (BHU!)

Quite rightly, Cllr David Andrews said that this was a slur (BHTC have a history of obsessing and making allegations of information leaking out) THEN Andrew Barrett-Miles threw a tantrum and told his mummy (Anne Jones) that David should retract his remark or be forced to leave the meeting, a request that Anne Jones followed up!

Yes good reader, you are thinking to same as me, surely it should have been David Andrews requesting that Andrew Barrett-Miles retract his comments, but no, that's not how it works at BHTC. If the ruling party don't like something, they start to complain!

After much reluctance and for the sake of the meeting, Cllr Andrews retracted his comments and the meeting continued, which was a shame as it would have been interesting to see how they'd force him out!

Dave Andrews (Labour) delivers his motion asking for information to be shared to councillors,
it was defeated *shock*

Cllr 'Publicity' Pru Moore Attacks Internet Trolls
Another example of Anne Jones' inability to properly chair a meeting was when she allowed Pru Moore to go on a rant about social media in which she declared those that comment negatively against councillors as being 'Internet Trolls'.

In what was obviously an agreed attack on internet users, Cllr Denis Jones joined in, also moaning about social media, he even read out some quote he found from TWO YEARS AGO (what a very sad man) in which supposedly someone was asking for scandal online about councillors?! Even if that quote is true, what's the problem?

This all came during the debate if Burgess Hill Town Council should consult with the public on the town centre. Their rants were completely off-topic, but Anne Jones let them go on and on and on.

It was funny hearing Pru complaining about the 'internet trolls' as Pru herself has been great at Trolling the public recently. In the summer, she declared that our town centre is vibrant and trendy as we have shops such as Bonmarche and Lidl. And how about her interview on BBC Radio Sussex when she declared that the Mulitstorey Car Park is safe, clean, beautiful and wonderful. THAT, ladies and gentlemen is 'trolling 101'.

What we have here is two councillors that don't like, that in this digital age, people can air their criticisms about the council and councillors in a very convenient way.

We've moved a long way from the days of a handful of carefully vetted letters appearing in the local newspaper that our councillors have leaned on for so many years.

Maybe Cllrs Pru Moore and Denis Jones are another two who should consider their futures if they don't like the way things work.

In Conclusion
Monday's council meeting was the nastiest that I have ever attended. There was no order at all with a complete lack of fairness and respect shown to the minority councillors.

Anne Jones was responsible for allowing it to happen, shame on Ian Simpson and Andrew Barrett-Miles for the way they behaved and to Pru Moore and Denis Jones for abusing the meeting to rant about something that will surely come back to bite them on the bum.

We learnt that the ruling party want to keep minority councillors and the public in the dark as much as possible as was seen with the defeat of the two motions put before them.

Fight Back
If reading this account of the meeting has left you feeling rather sick then you can always join the growing number of people that want to take action. If you're interested, then read BHU's open letter to the public here
: BHU's Letter: It's Time To Make A Stand

Spread the word that our council meetings in Burgess Hill are a farce.

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