An Eastbourne councillor has declared which way he is voting on the future of freehold of the Downland farms.
Jonathan Dow, who is a Liberal Democrat councillor for Old Town, is voting against the sale.
Speaking exclusively to Eastbourne Buzz, Councillor Dow has said he’s looked extensively at both sides of the argument before making up his mind, “I have now completed my Eastbourne Review consultation slip. I have voted against the sale of the four Downland Farms.
“I have proactively engaged with my fellow councillors, officers, family, friends and the wider community. I have asked challenging questions, listened to the answers, played devil's advocate and of course had challenging questions asked of me (and my conscience!!).
“The proposal was centred around making the council assets work harder, to ensure Eastbourne achieved the best possible return on its assets. In the face of ongoing austerity this is a very sensible and commercially viable proposal. However, I believe there are ongoing positive environmental benefits to Eastbourne and the wildlife in retaining the farms and ensuring outstanding farming practices. As a result, I am committed to finding alternative ways of increasing our revenue and decreasing our costs to ensure we bridge the gap of our reducing grants from central government.
“I stood in the May 2015 elections to support Eastbourne Borough Council continue to deliver a stable, efficient, entrepreneurial and commercial council in the face of enormous challenges. This council's success has been achieved by having a Liberal Democrat led council, a highly experienced Cabinet and of course the dedicated council officers and staff. I will continue to work with my council colleagues to ensure we deliver a sustainable future for Eastbourne.”