Representatives from Chichester A27 - No Option is Still an Option made their presence known to MP Andrew Tyrie, parish and district councillors at a closed meeting held at Chichester District Council offices.
At the peaceful and friendly protest on Friday, January 20, the representatives called for transparency, a consultation re-run of all seven options and for the results of the summer’s consultation to be published prior to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s announcement of his preferred option.
A spokesperson said: “We are not pushing for a northern option, we are demanding that all seven options are put back in consultation for transparency and accountability.
“By putting all options back on the table, it allows all areas of Chichester to work together to consult on the right option for Chichester’s future economic development.”
As reported, Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie did not respond to a request from the Observer for a comment on the A27 prior to the meeting, which was closed off from members of the press and public.
Messages from the protesters’ banners called for transparency in a consultation which they believe to be an ‘opaque shambles’.
The spokesperson added: “This opaque shambles continues, today’s meeting had no pre-published agenda, no press nor members of the public were allowed to observe the proceedings hosted in a publicly funded building.
“All are left questioning what exactly went on.
“At Andrew Tyre’s insistence the meetings were not minuted.
“We are of the understanding that Tyrie recorded his proceedings on a personal tape recorder.”
Prior to Tyrie hosting his meeting, he met with representatives of the group Chichester A27 - No Option is Still an Option as individuals discussed the need for transparency, the effects of Option 2 and the need for the residents within Chichester District to see the results of Highways England’s consultation.
In the past both Tyrie and Grayling have referenced out of date data by referring to 20 per cent of through traffic on the A27.
The group publicly presented Mr Tyrie with a copy of Highways England’s slide showing their 2014 findings of 42 per cent of through traffic.
According to the group, Tyrie stated that he was aware of the latest 2014 data and told the crowd that he had written to Mr Grayling,
This Tuesday, Chichester District Council’s members are set to vote on a motion tabled by their leader Tony Dignum at full council, to support an A27 consultation re-run.
It follows Louise Goldsmith, county council leader, speaking out to say that a re-run could be required.
“At a time when many residents are questioning the transparency of local and national government, Tyrie’s closed door meetings with Chichester’s parish chairmen and Chichester’s district councillors, four days before they vote on a re-run for the consultation, could be misconstrued,” the group added in a statement.
“We hope that Chichester district councillors will not be persuaded to vote against transparency and accountability at their full District Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The threat of losing DoT funding is being held over them.”
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