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Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 10:45:04 +0100
From: worthing eco-action
Subject: Time of Titnore meeting

Here is a press release that has just been sent out. Please note the council's meeting on Titnore on Monday April 19 is now at 7.30pm (not 6pm) - please spread the word and persuade as many people as possible to turn up and voice their views!


WORTHING Borough Council has been accused of trying to 'scupper' a public meeting that it has itself organised. Titnore Woods campaigners are angry at the authority's 'half-hearted' hosting of next Monday 's (April 19) event, which has included a last-ditch change in the start time.

Explained Dave Phillips of worthing eco-action: "It has been a long drawn-out process trying to get Sheila Player and the council to keep the promise they made back in the autumn to hold a proper public meeting on the Titnore issue. A lot of people were very disappointed by the fact it was arranged for the Pavilion Theatre on the pier, rather than at Durrington Community Centre or somewhere else residents could easily get to. However we went ahead and tried to publicise the meeting - despite the fact that the council seemed to have done nothing to inform the public it was even taking place. Then on Thursday (April 8) we saw a public notice in the Worthing Herald that gave the start time as 7.30pm, instead of the 6pm that had previously been announced. And over the weekend one or two people have reported getting notificaction through the post. Ten days or less before the meeting is clearly much too late for a change to be properly advertised and reach everyone interested. Combined with the venue for the meeting and the general lack of enthusiasm from the council, we seriously wonder if they want anyone to come to the meeting, if they really want to hear the views of the public or if they are just going through the motions in a very half-hearted manner."

Plans to build a huge housing estate on the Titnore Woods area at West Durrington have prompted massive opposition over the last few years, with 350 people joining one mass protest that closed down Titnore Lane for an afternoon. But a long delay in a planning application being submitted took the issue out of the headlines for a while - a situation which the campaigners say the council welcomes.

Said Mr Phillips: "The Lib Dems were elected to control the council partly because of the Titnore issue, but it is clear that they do not have the political will to make a stand on behalf of the people they are supposed to represent. Their sole tactic seems to be to hide the issue, duck their responsibility and somehow hope they get away with allowing this destruction of our greenfield heritage to go ahead in the face of such overwhelming opposition."

He called on people opposed to the scheme to 'call the council's bluff' and turn up at the council's public meeting at 7.30pm on Monday April 19, at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing Pier, to voice their views about the scheme - and the council's handling of it.

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