Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter - 22nd to 28th April 2012 - Adur & Worthing Liberal Democrats
Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 22nd to 28th April 2012

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  All to play for

News this past week: 

1. All Worthing’s A Stage

2. Help for SKIP and Phoenix

3. Latest Unemployment Figures Disappoint

WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 22ND TO 28TH APRIL 2012

Lib Dems will keep Worthing’s services local

Lib Dems will get on with bringing our town into the 21st century – no more dither and delay

Lib Dems will ensure ‘We are all in it together’ – no more waste and high pay

Lib Dems are the only opposition in Worthing – Labour can’t win here

Lib Dems support 20 mph in Worthing’s residential roads

Leader:  All to play for 

As tomorrow is Worthing Borough Council’s Election Day we held back this newsletter to the eve of poll.  We have had a fantastic response on the doorsteps as the hidden faults of Worthing’s Tory administration have gradually come to light.  Residents agree with us it’s high time for change and tomorrow there is all to play for.

In tennis if two consecutive faults are served the player loses the point.  In show jumping there are usually two faults for a first refusal, three faults for a second refusal and elimination for a third refusal.

So how many faults have Worthing Tories stacked up?

Fault One –  The Tories’ number one priority is to deliver a new swimming pool but they have failed miserably in so many respects.  The pool is costing £20 million plus although the figure for media consumption is a mere £17.9 million but a similar pool at Horley was built for half the cost.  The pool is “DDA compliant” but fails to provide adequate facilities for many with a disability.  The pool “will win awards” according to the Tories for it’s “iconic” design – an award for the building but not an award for the facilities.  Financing of the pool is an ever shifting calculation depending on which particular community asset is up for sale at the time. Details are hidden behind “commercial sensitivity” and residents are kept in the dark.  On this eve of poll the contract with constructors Morgan Sindall still does not appear to be finalised as the pool is conspicuous by its absence on Morgan Sindall’s website.

Fault Two –  The Tories’ main concern for their budget is the continued losses from Worthing’s theatres.  A loss estimated by the Leader of the Council as being unsustainable at £3,000 per day. Last November officers were instructed to bring a business plan by April to reduce losses by at least 25% but the plan was rejected when submitted. The officers were asked to think again and bring a fresh report in June.  In the meantime the pool continues to lose £3,000 per day.  The Tories have spectacularly failed to get a grip on the situation.

Fault Three –  The Tories have failed to regenerate the town to attract investment to provide much needed jobs.  Indeed as Lib Dem Cllr Christine Brown pointed out they don’t even appear to know whether unemployment is increasing or decreasing.  On budget day in February the Tories claimed unemployment was lower, yet only a couple of weeks later a report produced for the Jubilee Church planning application stated Worthing had the second highest unemployment in West Sussex.  So which is correct?  We now know – from figures reported in last week’s West Sussex Gazette unemployment in Worthing had leapt from 1,811 in October to 2,012 in March.

Fault Four –  The Tories have failed to release the underspend for 2011-12 to enable a reduction in Council Tax of 2.5% as proposed by the Liberal Democrats or for the £10 voucher for those on Council Tax Benefit who would not benefit from the reduction.  The Tories have failed to release reserves to restore lost evening and Sunday bus services – again proposed by the Liberal Democrats.  The Tories refused to release funds for community projects – again proposed by the Liberal Democrats.  In fact they come cap in hand to West Sussex County Council applying for funds from the County Local Committee (CLC) Community Initiative Funding for projects they refuse to release funds themselves.  During the last year the CLC has funded the Worthing Mayor’s swimarathon and the Worthing Youth Council’s elections – both refused funding by Worthing Borough Council.

Fault Five –  The Tories have failed to consult with residents and many decisions are taken by the six-person Cabinet with little or no discussion  For the first time ever this year the budget was not considered by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  We were reminded that the Adur Overview & Scrutiny Committee a few years ago recommended an amendment to reduce Council Tax and a reduction duly took place.  If there had been a similar consideration this year perhaps we would have obtained that Council Tax reduction of 2.5%.   So many decisions are taken with little public consultation – the whereabouts of new play equipment, the interior design of the pool and the future of Worthing’s theatres spring to mind.

Fault Six –  The Tories have been complacent in having been in power for 43 out of the last 50 years.  They lack a vision for the town – pretending everything is hunky-dory.  Worthing does not need any more dither and delay and no more excuses for busy doing nothing – residents deserve action.

We think that’s enough faults for elimination.

It is the Lib Dems who are in tune with residents’ hopes and fears and who are in tune with their disappointment in the Tory administration.

Worthing Liberal Democrats would bring about that much needed regeneration by using innovative forms of financing, we would sort out the theatres by meaningful discussions with outside experts, we would bring back the missing buses, we would give residents the choice of where money is spent in their area and yes we would have reduced Council Tax.

Make that vote count  –  vote Liberal Democrat tomorrow as we have all to play for.       

Worthing Liberal Democrats 

NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK

ALL WORTHING’S A STAGE

Wednesday 25th April – Two days after his birthday Shakespeare received a belated present at tonight’s Worthing County Local Commitee (CLC).  The CLC approved £5,000 funding to help stage the Whole of Worthing Shakespeare Festival to be held in June.  Children from Worthing schools are to perform six Shakespeare plays in the open air at six different Worthing locations.  The idea for the festival followed-on from the very successful open air performance of The Tempest at Splash Point last year.  Over 400 children from Worthing’s secondary schools are to take part and primary schools will produce complimentary art work. The £5,000 is to be used for sets, props and costumes and with out this CLC funding the project would have not been able to go ahead.

Lib Dem County Councillor for Broadwater Division Alan Rice who supported the application said:  “I am delighted the committee have approved funding for this worthwhile cause which is being led by St Andrews School Drama Department in my division.  I wish them every success and look forward to attending as many plays as I am able.”

HELP FOR SKIP & PHOENIX

Wednesday 25th April – Two other beneficiaries from tonight’s CLC Community Inititative Funding were Selden Kids in Play (SKIP) and Phoenix Youth Club Durrington.  SKIP received £1,000  to help with adminstration costs as they seek to provide a much needed play area in East Worthing.  Durrington’s well-loved youth club Phoenix also received £1,000 to help with a Summer Fun Day for 12-16 year olds.

LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES DISAPPOINT

Wednesday 25th April – Figures reported in today’s West Sussex Gazette show a disappointing rise in the number of unemployed in Worthing.  The number has increased from 1,811 in October to 1,212 in March.  These latest figures are in contradiction of the Tory Cabinet Member for Regeneration’s recent statement in which he said unemployment figures in Worthing were falling.

Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice said:  “These are indeed disappointing figures and show the need to get on with regeneration to provide jobs.  The Tory Cabinet rejected our motion last year to release capital funds to kickstart that regeneration – saying it was not necessary.  Unfortunately this has not been borne out by the facts.”

DIARY

Tuesday 1st May – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Wednesday 3rd May – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – The Durrington Community Centre, New Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm

Thursday 3rd May – WSCC Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Thursday 3rd May – Worthing Borough Council Elections

Saturday 5th May – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Shops 10.00 to 10.30 am

Saturday 5th May – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to noon

Saturday 5th May – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road 10.30 am to 12.00 noon

and every first Saturday of the month

Saturday 5th May – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 2.00 to 4.00 pm

and every first Saturday of the month

FURTHER AHEAD

Thursday 17th May – WSCC West Sussex Joint Commissioning Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm

Friday 18th May – WSCC Full County Council (meeting will be webcast) – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Friday 18th May – WBC Annual Council Meeting – Council Chamber, Town Hall at noon

Tuesday 22nd May – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm

and every third Tuesday of the month

Thursday 24th May – WSCC Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Tuesday 29th May – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Tuesday 29th May – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm

Thursday 31st May – WSCC Policy and Resources Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

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