Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 16th to 22nd October 2011

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Strange bedfellows       

News this past week:

1. West Sussex Lib Dem Shock At Policy Cost Of £300,000 For 4 Children
2. West Sussex Lib Dems ‘Shine A Light’ On Problems With Street Lighting Contract

3. West Sussex Throws Mayor’s Swim Charity A Lifeline

4. Adur Works With Woodland Trust – Why Not Worthing?

5. Pool – Now What’s Happening?

 

WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 16TH TO 22ND OCTOBER 2011

  •    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:  Strange bedfellows

 

The Tories running Worthing Borough Council pride themselves with the working partnership they have built with Adur District Council but it is often their differences which are more apparent. 

 
Worthing hived off its council houses several years ago to Worthing Homes – Adur still has its council housing stock.  Worthing still manages its leisure facilities in house although the theatres are up for sale – Adur has contracted out its leisure services. Worthing contracted out its green spaces and parks management although this is now being brought back in house – Adur kept its green space management. 
 
Those are some of the big inbuilt differences but there are also differences in the detail which are not only inbuilt in some areas but in subtle ways are increasing in others – when one hole is filled another springs a leak.  Subtle in that a different attitude is apparent in Adur than in Worthing.
 
Take working with the Woodland Trust. Last December Worthing Liberal Democrats moved a Woodland Trust motion to get more trees planted in the town and surrounding area. The Woodland Trust’s ‘Space for People’ report at the time showed only 0.1% of people living in Worthing have access to woodland within 500m of their home, which compares to an average of 14.5% for West Sussex and 15.6% for the UK. The motion called for the Cabinet Member for a Clean and Green Environment to investigate options for woodland creation in Worthing.  Worthing’s Tory cabinet savaged the motion “pooh-poohing” the Woodland Trust’s aspiration “that no person should live more than 500m from at least one area of accessible woodland of no less than two hectares in size” and substituting with a self-congratulatory message on the number of trees being planted. A number which the Lib Dems proved was being economical with the actuality.
 
Yet in an Adur press release this week on the opening of the Monks Recreation Ground “Parkour” facility in Lancing it is evident that Adur District Council has been working with the Woodland Trust as they donated trees for the project. So why the difference?  We suspect it is because the Worthing motion was associated with the Liberal Democrats and the Adur initiative was not. The Worthing Tory mantra seems to echo George Orwell’s Animal Farm where the mantra was “four legs good – two legs bad” -: their version “Tory ideas good – Lib Dem ideas bad.”
 
We applaud the Adur District’s ability to work with partners like The Woodland Trust to reach their aims on community projects.  This is one difference with Worthing which we urge the Tories to eliminate.
 
Then perhaps they will not appear such strange bedfellows.    
        

 Worthing Liberal Democrats 

 NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK
 
WEST SUSSEX LIB DEM SHOCK AT POLICY COST OF £300,000 FOR 4 CHILDREN

 
Tuesday 18th October – The Cabinet Member for Education and Schools recently decided to meet the costs of up to £2,900 in further education fees for a small number of children who have been home educated for a year or longer. The Liberal Democrat Group asked for more detail at a recent County Council meeting and learnt that the new policy had been introduced following a request made by the parents of four children currently being home educated.  Despite the County Council being aware of 112 other children who might be eligible for this funding, the Cabinet Member has no intention of contacting them to make them aware of the new policy although they will be told if they contact the County Council direct. West Sussex Liberal Democrats believe the proposals were rushed through in order to allow these children to start their college courses in September and a request to scrutinise the proposals was denied. 
Leader of the West Sussex Lib Dem group, Morwen Millson said, “We are surprised that a new policy has been created following a request by just three parents. We are not against home educating but it is wrong to start funding a new initiative when there has been no consultation and ahead of any proposals from central Government.  If all those parents of children aged 14-16 that we know are being home educated come forward to claim this money it could cost the County Council over £300k per year.  On the back of having removed financial support for other groups of children recently, this seems a strange way to do business.”  (Bob Smytherman – Press Release)
 
WEST SUSSEX LIB DEM ‘SHINE A LIGHT’ ON PROBLEMS WITH STREET LIGHTING CONTRACT
 
Tuesday 18th October – At the County Council meeting on October 14th, Morwen Millson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, asked questions about the street lighting contract that was recently outsourced by the County Council. The contract has handed over all aspects of street lighting in West Sussex, including customer care, to contractor SSE. Several local residents have complained that the contractor failed to meet the standards required by the contract – to complete the repair within three working days and to communicate with complainants the reasons why any repair should not be completed within this time scale. Residents were concerned that they did not know what to do when they had reported a faulty light and nothing happened. The Liberal Democrats wanted to ensure that arrangements for residents to report faults and, if necessary, make complaints, were clear and that penalties were being applied to the contract if the targets were not met.
Morwen commented: “We will be keeping a close eye on this contract.  In the meantime I would urge residents to report any faults with street lights, illuminated signs or bollards by telephoning 0800 0482435 or via the link on the County Council’s website. The contractor is required to repair the faulty appliance within 3 days, unless a spare part is needed or the fault is down to the supply cable.  If you have reported a fault and it has not been repaired within 3 days, please contact your county councillor or me. Your councillor will be able to make sure that any failures by the contractor are logged by the council and that contract penalties are imposed.”  (Bob Smytherman – Press Release)
 

WEST SUSSEX THROWS MAYOR’S CHARITY SWIM A LIFELINE
 
Wednesday 19th October – Worthing’s Mayor, Ann Barlow, was not amused when the Lib Dems extracted a confession from the Leader of the Council Paul Yallop at the last Council that he had authorised a charge on the Mayor’s Charities for use of the Aquarena. The Roland Gibson Charity Swim raised £5,000 earlier this year adding to the total raised by Roland Gibson of £63,000 before he sadly passed away. The Aquarena is in Lib Dem West Sussex Cllr Irene Richard’s division and Irene hearing of the Mayor’s plight was more than happy to support a West Sussex Community Initiative Funding (CIF) bid to cover the £600 charge. The bid was recommended by the CIF sub-group for approval at tonight’s Worthing County Local Commitee held at Worthing High School and was duly approved unanimously by the six County members present – three Conservatives and three Liberal Democrats.
 
ADUR WORKS WITH WOODLAND TRUST – WHY NOT WORTHING?
 
Friday 21st October – Adur District Council announced today in a press release issued on new Monks Recreation Ground “Parkour” facility that the Woodland Trust was donating trees to the project. While welcoming the move Worthing Liberal Democrats were left a little bemused after the categoric refusal earlier in the year by Worthing’s Tories to support a Woodland Trust motion in Council. The same motion was moved in Brighton & Hove by a Conservative councillor later in the year putting Worthing out of step. Parkour was developed in France as a method of movement around obstacles with speed and efficiency. It was introduced to the English speaking world as free running in the film “Jump London”.
Alan Rice, Leader of Worthing Borough Council’s Lib Dem Group said: “Adur has shown the way in working together with the Woodland Trust for the good of community. It is high time Worthing’s Tories did the same.”      
 
 
POOL – NOW WHAT’S HAPPENING?
 
Friday 21st October – The piling equipment is back this week on the new pool site after going “awol” for about a month – there for the photoshoot with the Leader of the Council at the “official” start of works but missing until late this week on the site as viewed by Worthing Borough Council’s webcam.  Does this mean the contracts have now been finalised? No – not according to the Leader when responding to the local press this week. But putting that aside what intrigues Worthing Liberal Democrats now is there is a new report on the pool’s funding strategy to be presented to next week’s Joint Strategic Committee. Surely not a change of heart?  Or is there? Could it be the expected funds from the  sale of the council’s assets are not meeting their expectations?  We don’t know yet as the report is not available on the Worthing Borough Council website – marked as to follow. It will probably be pulled out of the hat at the last moment and then perhaps we will know what is exactly happening – we can’t wait.     
 
 DIARY
 
Wednesday 26th October – WBC Development Control Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm 
Wednesday 26th October – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 27th October – WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm 
Saturday 29th October – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am

Saturday 29th October – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am

 
FURTHER AHEAD
 
Tuesday 1st November – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 2nd November – WSCC Policy and Resources Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 3rd November – WSCC Strategic Environmental Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am 
Saturday 5th November – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – St Pauls Centre, Chapel Road 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
                              and every first Saturday of the month
Saturday 5th November – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 2.00 to 4.00 pm  
                              and every first Saturday of the month
Wednesday 9th November – WSCC Community Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 10th November – WSCC Adults’ services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 10th November – ADC & WBC Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm
Monday 14th November – WSCC Standards Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm  
Tuesday 15th November – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm
                                       and every third Tuesday of the month 
Wednesday 23rd November – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 23rd November – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm 
Monday 28th November – WSCC Governance Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Tuesday 29th November – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Tuesday 29th November – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Council Chamber, Adur Civic Centre at 6.30 pm
Wednesday 30th November – WSCC Strategic Environmental Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am             
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