Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 23rd to 29th October 2011

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Not for publication       
News this past week:
1. Lib Dems Outraged At Worthing Residents Being Kept In Dark Over Funding Of The New Pool.
2. Tories Reject Minimum Pricing Of Alcohol
3. Pool – Now What’s Happening?  Take Two. 

Worthing Aquarena

  • 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 Leader:  Not for publication


We would like to tell you what is going on with the funding of the new pool – Worthing Tories number one priority and flagship policy.

But we can’t as the public and press were excluded from the debate on the “Funding Strategy for the New Pools Project” report presented to Thursday’s Adur & Worthing Joint Strategic Committee.
This was a little surprising because the agenda for the meeting did not indicate this would be the case although two other items were so classified:
(a) the “Proposed Sale of the Worthing Aquarena Site” and
(b)  the “Proposed Sale of the Adur Civic Centre”. 
Quoting from the agenda on those two items to which the pool funding report was a late addition:  
Exclusion of the Press and Public
“In the opinion of the Proper Officer the press and the public should be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following items. Therefore the meeting is asked to consider passing the following resolution:
“that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting from the following items of business on the grounds that the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraph 3 of Schedule12 A to the Act indicated against the item”  
All three reports were marked:
Not for publication
Exempt information report
Paragraph (3) of Schedule 12A
Local Government Act 1972 
What can we say?    In effect – nothing.
What are our thoughts?    Not for publication !  
Worthing Liberal Democrats 

Thursday 27th October – Local Liberal Democrats are outraged today (Thursday) following news that Worthing residents are being excluded from this evening’s Adur & Worthing Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) when funding arrangements for the new pool are to be discussed, yet again. The report to the committee has been printed entirely on “pink papers” which means they are only available to councillors. We trust if Worthing residents are excluded then surely Adur members of the committee will also be excluded? Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice was alerted to the existence of the report when reading the JSC agenda on the Worthing Borough Council website. Item 9 Funding strategy for new pool – copy to follow. Barely 24 hours before the meeting was due Alan finally obtained a copy of the report and was astonished to find it was on “pink papers” – effectively gagging him.  There was no indication on the website that this would be the case.
Alan Rice said: “We have long entertained fears over the very fragile funding arrangements for replacing the Aquarena which were last agreed in March this year but Tories have assured us time and time again the new pool was fully funded – so why the need for a new report?  Don’t tell me the special Council in March to vote through additional funding was the complete waste of time and money we feared. The report for that meeting was in the public domain – so why not this one?  I know the answers but I am not allowed to say – the Tories as usual have something to hide.”
(Bob Smytherman – Press Release)
Thursday 27th October – The Worthing Tory Cabinet tonight rejected a motion from Lib Dem Bob Smytherman requesting the Licensing & Control Committee consider the issue of alcohol minimum pricing at its next meeting.  The Cabinet will now recommend at the next Full Council to vote against the motion.  The Cabinet showed a complete disregard for the Local Health Profiles for England report, published by the Public Health Observatories for the South East in July 2011. The report shows Worthing having 2501 hospital admissions due to alcohol related harm compared to an English average of 1743 admissions. It is part of the coalition agreement for the Government to bring in a minimum pricing for alcohol and ministers have unveiled their plans – banning shops from selling alcohol for less than the tax paid for them.  Effectively a 440ml can of lager’s price will be 38p and a litre of cider 40p.  But health experts do not think this goes far enough and will not act as a sufficient deterrent which is why Bob Smytherman is putting forward his motion. Sheffield University researchers estimated last year that raising the price to a minimum of 50p per unit would mean after a decade there would be almost 3000 fewer deaths and 41000 fewer cases of chronic illmess.
After the meeting Bob Smytherman commented: “One of the objectives of Worthing Borough Council’s sustainable community strategy Waves Ahead is to’tackle excessive alcohol use amongst young people and adults’ but when the Lib Dems try to bring in a policy that puts that objective into practice it is rejected by the Tories.  We are not asking the Tories to take our word for it but to listen to the experts which have to deal with the consequences of alcohol abuse on a day-to-day basis. One Adur Cabinet member suggested that if Worthing brought in minimum pricing their residents would be welcome to purchase their alcohol in Adur – now is that responsible?” 
Friday 28th October – Last night’s consideration of the new funding report behind closed doors was adjourned until November 22nd but we cannot tell Worthing’s residents why as we are gagged under the Local Gvovernment Act. Residents can only speculate what is happening.  Is the construction contract still not signed with Morgan Sindall?  Has the Aquarena site been sold?  Will the site become a “Teville Gate by the Sea?”.  We know the answers but yet again we cannot share them with you at the present time.  Rest assured as soon as we can we will.
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
Wednesday 2nd November – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 3rd November – WSCC Strategic Environmental Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am 
Saturday 5th November – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 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 Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am 
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 
Tuesday 22nd November – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Gordon Room Town Hall at 6.30 pm
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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