I WOULD like to take our local MP to task for some of his comments in his letter to your paper (July, 28).
Of course it does tend to create difficulties for the local residents when travellers pitch up on sites that they are not entitled to, but there are legal processes available to the local authority to deal with such instances.
Mr Loughton has chosen to take this particular instance to intervene using the most inflammatory language, including: “invaded the playground” “terrorised residents in Lancing and Worthing” “torrent of abuse by a group of young thugs”.
I have a number of questions regarding Mr Loughton’s letter:
Have the residents who have been abused reported any such incidents to the police?
Have the instances of vandalism and criminal damage been reported to the police?
And what was Mr Loughton hoping to achieve by venturing up to the travellers’ encampment?
If his purpose was to express his obvious disgust and contempt for them then it is not altogether surprising that his visit was not well received. In fact, it could almost be taken as being a calculated provocation.
The way in which he berates the Green council in Brighton and Hove about their policies on travellers, and rants and raves about “European human rights and all sorts of other politically correct, nonsense legislation”, leads one to the conclusion that it is less about concern for the people that he represents, and more about using this incident as a pretext to promote his own, and his party’s, anti-traveller agenda.
Certainly, if he behaves so irresponsibly in a matter such as this, and he makes use of such intemperate and inflammatory language, then maybe it is not surprising that he incurred the ire of the Speaker of the House.
I would like to conclude by saying that if Mr Loughton is calling a get-together of councillors and other notables in our area, could he not devote some time to an issue of great importance to the vast majority of his constituents, that of the future of Southlands Hospital?
Here we are, some two months after the West Sussex Hospitals Trust produced their proposals for Southlands, which will result in the elimination of Southlands as a hospital, and I have yet to see any statement about this very important issue from Mr Loughton.
And that goes for Adur District Council as well.
So, perhaps when they do get together, they could refrain from the orgy of back-slapping and mutual self-congratulation that we have seen in recent weeks, and devote themselves to addressing the concerns of the electorate about what is going to happen to our hospital.