One of my photos

The big (non-)event

January 11th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

Tonight there is an extraordinary council meeting which is being held in the Hawth theatre because of the expected crowds.

It is all about travellers of course. The council’s executive voted last year to go ahead with two sites, a permanent one and a transit one. One of the them at what is called the gasholder site is causing a lot of ill-feeling amongst residents of Pound Hill, which is just on the other side of a dual carriageway from it.

The residents have formed a group – the Pound Hill North Residents Association (PHNRA) which has raised over £20,000 to cover costs of any legal battles. They are mobilising their troops to pack out the council meeting.

Unfortunately the proposal for the gasholder site is going to be withdrawn as the land owners (English Partnerships) are blocking it. They sent a letter to the council last week, so tonight there will be an amendment to remove that site from any plans.

This is not a secret. It was mentioned at last nights local neighbourhood forum in Broadfield and the Tory group were told as well. Also the PHNRA know all about the letter and its implications, but look at their website and the “latest news” is from December 28th, even though the website was last updated on Jan 6th.

But they are not publicising to all their members and supporters the fact that the danger to their precious property values has gone away. They might be spared a journey to demand something which is already happening, and could stay at home to watch Lost. I bet that the blame for the anti-climax will fall on the council and therefore the Labour party instead of those who have been whipping up the mob.

Likewise, this letter from English Partnerships arrived in enough time for our local newspapers to report it, but they are both saying how tonight is the big night. They are even anticipating a result which is impossible in order to stir up excitement about the next executive meeting.

Is it that the PHNRA have already booked the coaches to transport all the residents without transport and don’t want to be wasting their money? (And how many members of the PHNRA are without transport anyway?) Or is the the main aim of the organisation/campaign to whip up anti-Labour feeling?

I’m going to go along anyway, as it might provide a good opportunity to get some interesting photographs, but I do wonder what the mood of the place will be when the massed ranks of NIMBYs turn up spoiling for a fight and find nothing to fight about. They could immediately cheer up and have a party because they have what they want, but they might decide to cause trouble anyway for the sake of it.

Meanwhile all the burglars in town (who live in houses and not caravans) are preparing to visit Pound Hill at 7:30 as they have heard that all the locals, and all the police, will be at the Hawth.

There is never a dull moment in Crawley is there?

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