National Park Friends Group pledges support for Park Authority in controversial move.
At its meeting on 3 July the South Downs National Park Authority was promised the full and continuing support of its “Friends” organisation, the South Downs Society.
Addressing the meeting, the Society’s policy officer Steve Ankers, said “The Authority has taken a controversial step in seeking judicial review of the process by which Highways England identified its preferred option for the A27 Arundel bypass. This may not have gone down well with everyone but this Society unhesitatingly supports the Authority. Along with many other organisations, we campaigned for many years for a powerful, well-resourced body dedicated to conserving and enhancing the very special qualities of the South Downs and we are delighted to see it make this stand.”
The Society will also show its support for the work of the Authority in its submissions to the review of national parks recently announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
Taking the opportunity afforded at every meeting for a member of the public to raise any issue within the Authority’s remit, the Society’s policy officer stressed the unwavering commitment of the “Friends” when it comes to the big issues facing the national park.
Said Steve Ankers, “Under different names the Society has been around since 1923 and we won’t be wilting in our determination to care for the South Downs any time soon.”
Steve Ankers, now policy officer for the South Downs Society, was from 1992 to 2007 East Sussex County Council’s Head of Environment and, for much of that period, Assistant Director in the Transport and Environment Department responsible for transport planning and road safety.