Most councillors in Sussex are strongly against the South Downs being being made into a national park.

East Sussex County Council appears to have gone as far as to threaten to move out of Lewes if the town is put within its boundaries.

It would be a blow to Lewes if the council, by far the biggest employer, were to move elsewhere.

The only good result would be a chance to demolish County Hall, which has been a blot on the landscape there for more than 30 years.

No one at the Countryside Agency should be deterred by any tough talking designed to make them change their minds.

There is no reason why Lewes, a historic town in the heart of the Downs, should not be included within the park's boundaries.

Councillors should not be scared of national park status. If granted, it should lead to improved protection for the Downs, which surely is what everyone wants.

The suspicion is what they really object to is losing some of their powers, particularly over planning, to a new national park authority.

What they should remember is that whatever they say, most of the people they represent are in favour of the idea.

They also only have to look at other national parks, many of which have been operating for half a century, to see how well they have worked.