Council officers who abuse their positions of authoirty should be prosecuted under the Fraud Act 2006, a pension would then be proceeds of crime and not payable.



Liberal Democrats lead the fight against corrupt councils


Wealden Parliamentary Constituency - Facts and Figures



Wealden parliamentary constituency is the northern part of the Wealden District in the County of East Sussex. It stretches from the parishes of Forest Row and Danehill in the west to Wadhurst in the East and Hailsham in the south. It has three main towns, Crowborough, Uckfield and Hailsham which between them house some 40% of the 83,000 voters (well over the average electorate of 69,281 for a Parliamentary constituency in England).

The north of the constituency is dominated by the Ashdown Forest which is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Ashdown Forest is a Special Protection Area (an EC designation under the Habitats Directive). It is also contains a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These designations impose planning constraints

Within the Parliamentary constituency Liberal Democrats hold 13 of the 42 seats on Wealden District Council. There are a further 16 Wealden District Council seats in the neighbouring constituencies of Lewes, Eastbourne and Bexhill and Battle - Liberal Democrats hold 7 of these.

In Victorian times the area was well served by a comprehensive rail network but this was mostly dismantled in the1960s and 70s. Apart from the London -Tunbridge Wells-Hastings line which clips the north-east corner of the constituency, Wealden is served by a single track branch line (site of Cowden Rail Crash) connecting Uckfield, Buxted, Crowborough and Eridge with Oxted (Surrey) on the Victoria-East Grinstead line. Services are at best hourly on 40 yr old diesel trains. A long running campaign to have this line electrified, doubled and restored to Lewes has cross party support. Bus services are sparse, slow and expensive.

The paucity of public transport and the rural character of the constituency puts great pressure on the road network. Improving this network is constrained by the the AONB status of much of the area and the need to conserve the Ashdown Forest. People are increasingly aware of the conflict between their needs as drivers and their needs as residents.

There is a conflict between those who profit by tourism and those who feel it damages their amenity. To a very large extent the problem is not the tourists themselves but their motor cars which choke 'honeypot' areas and villages such as Hartfield (home of Pooh Bear).

Even before John Prescott increased the figures, Wealden District had been allocated a requirement for 3,300 new dwellings in the period up to 2011; these are to be focussed on peripheral expansions to Uckfield, Hailsham and Polegate (Polegate is in the part of Wealden DC which is outside the Constituency).

The existing infrastructure is barely adequate for present housing. The planned increase will place arguably unsustainable burdens on water supplies and roads. Although there are people who see these proposals as a boost to trade or an opportunity for personal gain, many fear the resulting influx will erode the rural tranquillity and quality of life in this area.

Nevertheless, there is a wide recognition that house prices are rising above the reach of 'ordinary people' and an acknowledged need for more 'social housing' for local people and their children.

Building control partnership to save costs


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