Anti-Link Road protesters take their fight to County Hall

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PROTESTORS opposed to the controversial link road made their feelings clear ahead of a meeting of the county council.

Banners, animal masks and chants greeted councillors as they arrived at County Hall in Lewes, on Tuesday morning (October 16).

Campaigners included members of the Hastings Alliance and Combe Haven Defenders, who are fiercely opposed to the building of the £100 million Bexhill to Hastings Link Road, which in their view is poor value for money and will be disastrous for the natural environment.

Placards included “Haven or hell” and “Stop Osborne’s road to ruin, and “Cut the road, not social care.”

Speaking for the Hastings Alliance, Derrick Coffee said: ‘The prospects of a ruined valley and a major road funded entirely by the public purse at a time when cuts to Adult Social Care, Childrens’ Services and transport measures, including sustainable modes, are on the agenda for discussion meant that passions were running high, and these spilled over into the council chamber.

“It still remains the case that the council have failed to investigate alternative transport and regeneration measures.”

The council meeting was adjourned following disruptions from the Hastings Alliance and Combe Haven Defenders.

Abby Nicol, a Combe Haven Defenders spokesperson, said: “Even as it prepares to squander at least £44 million of our council tax on an environmentally disastrous white-elephant road through the Combe Haven Valley, East Sussex County Council is planning to cut £34 million from adult social care, £14 million from children’s services and £14 million from ‘economy transport and environment’.

“No-one who cares about either the public purse or the environment can afford to stand idly by while this Road is built.”

Combe Haven Defenders is calling on people to pledge to take part in peaceful resistance to the construction of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.

The invitation to “Join the Second Battle of Hastings” is being launched this week with a pastiche of the Bayeux Tapestry featuring chancellor George Osborne on a bulldozer, anti-road campaigners, and examples of local wildlife.

Ten thousand copies will be distributed at the TUC’s “A Future That Works” demonstration this Saturday October 20).

Work on the road is scheduled to begin in January 2013.