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CPRE Sussex Director’s column written for West Sussex Gazette, April 2023

30th April 2023

On May 4 Sussex goes to the polls. Councillors are up for election in the Chichester, Horsham, Worthing and Arun districts.

These are the people who, over the next four years, will shape the future of our countryside, villages and towns.

The policies they set, on planning, transport, climate and more, will influence what happens for decades to come.

Will they leave us, our children and our children’s children, with homes that local people can afford? With safe, clean and healthy options for getting around? With cleaner rivers where nature thrives? With non-polluting energy sources?

Or will they accelerate the housing, nature and climate crises – leaving our grandkids to clean up the mess?

You have the power to decide. By asking the candidates where they stand on these issues, using your votes wisely at the ballot box based on what they say, and then holding your councillors to their promises, you can shape Sussex’s future.

At CPRE Sussex, we have developed our own manifesto for these elections, containing the policies we think are needed to shape a greener future for our countryside.

We do not support any political party – we hope candidates from all parties and none back our ideas. In particular, we’re calling on would-be councillors to:

  • Tackle our housing and cost of living crisis, by bringing forward all possible brownfield sites for genuinely affordable housing to rent and buy, to meet the needs of local people. This is the development we need, not greenfield ‘executive’ housing designed only to profit developers. Councillors should call on the Government to rethink current housing targets that put so much pressure on Sussex.
  • Oppose extensive road-building programmes – such as the hugely-expensive dualling of the A27 at Arundel – which simply fill up with more traffic, when lower-cost, less damaging alternatives are available.
  • Cut pollution from chemicals, sewage, plastics, light and noise. In particular, we need to tackle river pollution, by ensuring new developments take account of water use, putting pressure on water companies and the Government to end the discharge of raw sewage, and supporting action to reduce the run-off of agricultural pollutants into our rivers.
  • Address the climate breakdown – already hurting Sussex through heatwaves, drought, flooding and other extreme weather – by leading a revolution in rooftop solar energy. Policies should require all new buildings to incorporate solar and councils should lead the way on their own properties.

Why not ask your candidates where they stand on these issues? If they’re elected, will they support the policies that will change things?

You can find details of your candidates at and get in touch to hear what they have to say. Template letters are available on our website,

On May 4 you can cast your votes for the candidates with the best answers. Remember, for the first time, you will need to take photo ID to the polling station.