County councillor denies campaigning for new northern A27 following leaked email

West Sussex County Council member Pieter Montyn SUS-141027-145203001
West Sussex County Council member Pieter Montyn SUS-141027-145203001

A senior county councillor this week reaffirmed he had not campaigned about a new route for the A27 north of Chichester.

Cllr Pieter Montyn was responding to a private e-mail he appeared to have sent dated December 20, 2015, a copy of which has been sent to the Observer.

A congested A27 Chichester bypass, an all too familiar sight

A congested A27 Chichester bypass, an all too familiar sight

Cllr Montyn, West Sussex County Council member (West Wittering ward), said: “You can make what you will of a piece of private correspondence with someone who approached me.

“As I said to you earlier, unlike others, to date I have not campaigned i.e. spoken out publicly or sought to organise public support for or against any particular view.”

In the email, cllr Montyn is responding to a newsletter sent out by Chichester Deservers Better, a group campaigning against a possible new northern route, two of seven options currently being considered by Highways England.

The e-mail states: “This is gathering momentum.

“They are a little early and lacking in detail to have effective parish council meetings.

“We need to get together in the new year with willing individuals of whatever kind (PC members or not) and begin work on a better informed pro campaign. Pieter.”

Cllr Montyn was an active campaigner for a northern A27 bypass prior to the option originally being dropped from Highways England’s plans on 2005 and prior to him being an elected district or county councillor.

Speaking at a public WSCC meeting 17 days after sending the email, cllr Montyn was asked about his previous work in favour of a northern route.

He told the meeting: “That was ten years ago when I hadn’t been elected to anything and I was free to do what I felt I wanted to do.

“Since I was elected to district and then county (council), the situation has been very different for me. The moment I was elected I never campaigned or spoke out again.”

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