Protestors opposing local government cuts lobbied councillors today determined to stop the axe falling on a hundred jobs and council budgets. And demonstrators continued their campaign to stop the Bexhill to Hastings relief road. Tom Savvides reports.
Campaigners against the Bexhill to Hastings link road will picket East Sussex County Council's offices today with branches from trees felled in the construction scheme. The move comes on the same day that the local authority sets out its plans for council tax for the next financial year.
Those opposed to the scheme had been camped out in tunnels, treehouses and chains but have since been removed by developers as work on the road got underway. It is hoped the £90 million-pound route due open in just over two years time will relieve traffic problems on the south coast.
VIDEO: There've been more arrests today as bailiffs stepped in to clear the last protest camp in the path of the new Bexhill to Hastings link road. Campaigners fighting the £100 million scheme are occupying trees in a wood near the village of Crowhurst. Malcolm Shaw reports.
Protesters demonstrating against the construction of the Hastings Bexhill link road have continued with their treetop demonstrations today. They have also burrowed down in tunnels to prevent trees being felled to make way for the £94m road project in East Sussex.
Bailiffs have begun evicting the third protest camp to be set up. They have removed four protesters so far today, with about a dozen still left in the trees. There has been one arrest, although most people are being removed peacefully
Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the RSPCA joined campaigners calls at the weekend to save woodland in the Coombe Haven Valley. Councillors insist, however, the 94 million pound road is vital for the local economy.
Adrian Hopkins of the Combe Haven Defenders protest group said: "Resistance has been growing to this awful scheme as each day passes and more people become inspired by the action so far taken to protect the beautiful Combe Haven valley.
"This is only the beginning of a sustained campaign of peaceful resistance to this environmentally disastrous white-elephant project."
While Andy Atkins, Executive Director of Friends of the Earth said: “'This road shouldn't have been approved.
"It will lead to more pollution, damage the environment and do little to boost the local economy. Reviving discredited road schemes like this won’t solve our economic and transport problems, it will simply shift traffic elsewhere. Transport policy must change direction.
"We need cleaner cars and safe, efficient and affordable alternatives.'”
Around twenty protesters demonstrating against proposals for the new Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) have climbed trees in areas threatened by the route.
The Combe Haven Defenders are calling for 1,066 people to come to Hastings to help them peacefully resist the construction of the Link Road. The trees near Adam’s Farm in Crowhurst, are on the route of the BHLR.
– Gabriel Carlyle, spokesperson for the Defenders
“The second Battle of Hastings has begun in earnest this morning. We intend to do everything in our power to peacefully resist the Road, and urge all those concerned about the environment, the countryside, or the public purse to join us.”
Campaigners fighting against plans for a Hastings to Bexhill link road will take their case to the High Court in London later today. They are hoping to reverse a decision not to grant them the right to appeal against the one hundred million pound scheme.
While traders say building the new road is vital to improve business links between the two towns od Bexhill and Hastings, environmentalists disagree.