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29/09/2016 – Letter to Mid Sussex Times - Lack of Funding is Disgraceful

I note the two items in your edition dated 29th September about facilities for our disabled children in Burgess Hill.

Regarding Woodlands Meed special school, the West Sussex County Council chief executive states that completion of any work is contingent on funding from Central Government. Why is this when we have been clearly told that our acceptance of thousands of new houses in recent years provides substantial money from the developers for improved infrastructure including education.

Where is the funding already provided from these housing developments, has it all been spent elsewhere in the county at the expense of our Burgess Hill special school requirements?

Turning to the rejection by the Town Council of suggestions that the disused toilet facilities in Cyprus Road could be made into a specialist disabled toilet. I note that that the chief executive says that the building is not fit for purpose. Clearly those families with disabled children do not agree and I would prefer to take their opinion. In any case there must be money available, again from payments made by developers in recent years, for public buildings so why not make it fit for purpose. After all the District Council could find some £14,000 of Burgess Hill development money to give as a grant to Hurstpierpoint Bowls Club.

We have become used to not seeing much improvement from the large amounts of development money going from Burgess Hill to the County and District Councils but when it affects the disabled and their families in the town then it can only be described as a disgrace.

David Andrews
Chair, Burgess Hill Sussex Labour Party

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