Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter - 5th to 11th February 2012 - Adur & Worthing Liberal Democrats
Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 5th to 11th February 2012

Articles for the past week:
Leader:  Everything’s fine and dandy         
News this past week:
1. Pop Up People Launch
2. Where’s Worthing’s Pot Of Gold?
3. Good Use Of Twitter By Adur & Worthing CS
4. Goodbye To a Fine And Outstanding Councillor
5. Worthing Tory Cabinet Rejects Job Creation Motion
6. Portas Pilot Sparks Worthing Community Interest
WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
5TH TO 11TH FEBRUARY 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:  Everything’s fine and dandy
Worthing’s Tory Cabinet never ceases to amaze us but this week they have excelled themselves in rejecting our motion to stimulate the town’s economy.  No need apparently to create more jobs, attract more business or fill those empty shops. No need apparently because everything’s fine and dandy.
Lib Dem leader Alan Rice moved the motion at December’s council meeting but the motion was referred to the Adur & Worthing Joint Strategic Committee – effectively the joint Cabinets of Adur and Worthing. This is the motion they rejected:
“This council notes that the continued sluggish performance of the UK economy is mirrored in Worthing’s local economy. The Council therefore believes it is imperative to do all it can to support businesses locally especially tourism and drive economic development, consistent with the Council’s on-going commitment to reduce spending in support of the Government’s deficit reduction plans.
The Council therefore asks the Deputy Leader to:
(1) discuss with West Sussex County Council, district and borough partners, the three sub-regional partnerships and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, the potential for increased co-ordinated activity to stimulate the business actvity and growth;
(2) bring forward as a matter of urgency proposals for key investments in infrastructure and other developments which would bring a significant, long-term benefit to Worthing’s local economy
(3) further, the Council asks the Cabinet Member for Resources to assist the Deputy Leader in bringing forward the proposals by making available resources from capital.”
Before the meeting was a briefing note by the Executive Head of Planning which led the Cabinets to conclude that although the national economy is sluggish, a number of projects were ongoing in Worthing such as the New Swimming Pool, Affordable Housing and Leisure Facilities and that the unemployment figures did not show an increase.  Therefore the decision of the Joint Strategic Committee was to recommend to Worthing Council that the Notice of Motion be not supported.  We were not present at this meeting so we don’t know whether this means Adur Cabinet Members voted on this issue or not – we do know Adur Cabinet Members outnumbered Worthing ones six to five.  Worthing’s Cabinet Member for Resources who we hoped would have the greatest input to the decision was absent.
Worthing residents do not appear to share the same view as they have grabbed with both hands the opportunity to revitalise Worthing’s shops by bidding to become a “Portas Pilot”.  Worthing local resident Dan Thompson, of the “Empty Shops Network” and “Pop Up People” fame, under his artistmakers Twitter tag tweeted yesterday (Saturday) to Tory Leader of Worthing Borough Council: “I’d like to put together business and community pitch for Worthing to be a #portaspilot – will you back this?”  Worthing Lib Dems pledged their support immediately but nothing as yet from the Tory Leader, the Tory Cabinet Member for Regeneration or the Tory Cabinet Member for Resources.
Perhaps they still believe everything is fine and dandy.
Worthing Liberal Democrats 
NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK
POP UP PEOPLE LAUNCH 
Thursday 2nd February – Worthing Lib Dem’s Leader Alan Rice and Deputy Leader Norah Fisher today were delighted to attend the launch of the ‘Pop Up People report at Worthing’s very own Fresh Egg. Dan Thompson author of the report has been a key mover in getting empty shops back into use and revitalising town centres – Dan is a Worthing local lad. The report explains and gives examples how ‘pop up people’ are truly entrepreneurial, even if their project is more about community than commerce.  They are making money, either through income or by attracting new funding to the area, and spending it locally with independent shops and suppliers. It was apposite that the launch was held at the Fresh Egg headquarters in Buckingham Road – itself a ‘pop up’ enterprise occupying the old Allied Carpets site which held one of Worthing”s first empty shops’ projects – a 50 stall charity market.  The report is a practical guide how a community can revitalise itself and makes a refreshing change from “official” central and local government reports which identify a problem (and often don’t) which is already well known to the local community.
Norah Fisher, Lib Dem Deputy Leader and Shadow Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “‘Pop up peopIe’ shows us what can be done when the local community puts their collective minds to the task.  It looks like just the ticket for re-opening the abandoned top tier of the Guildbourne Centre.  I have more faith in local residents getting things done than I have for the painfully slow progress by Worthing’s Tory adminstration.”
WHERE’S WORTHING’S POT OF GOLD?


Thursday 2nd February – Adur District Council has extended the deadline to Valentine’s Day for Adur’s community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and resident associations to bid for funding from Adur’s “Pot of Gold” . The funding is to help fulfil residents’ ideas how to improve their neighbourhood, town or village or provide something that would help local people.  There is a total of £70,000 available – £50,000 for large projects and £20,000 for small ones.  The allocation of funds is to be decided at an event on 29th March where project bids will be presented to a ‘live’ audience and a panel made up of the Cabinet.  In addition the Shoreham Port Authority, Brighton and Hove District Council, Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council have allocated £20,000 to be spent in the Shoreham Regeneration area under the ‘BIG Harbour Community Pot 2012″.  Both funds are described as participatory budgetting as the local community gets their say in how the money is spent.  So what is Worthing’s equivalent?  Where is Worthing’s ‘Pot of Gold’? According to Adur & Worthing’s ‘Big Society Action Plan’ Worthing has the Community Chest.  The Community Chest makes very useful small donations to local groups and is much appreciated but we understand that Worthing BC only funds the Community Chest to the tune of £6,700 – it is hardly comparable.
Alan Rice, Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader, said: “Where’s Worthing’s ‘Pot of Gold’?  Somewhere over the rainbow.  Worthing’s miserly Tory Cabinet is yet again failing the people of Worthing compared to their partners in Adur.  Once again it appears Worthing is the ‘last among equals’.”
GOOD USE OF TWITTER BY ADUR & WORTHING CS 
Friday 3rd February – Dan Thompson was disturbed last night by an arson attack on refuse bins near his Worthing property. An avid user of Twitter (Dan has over 9,000 followers) Dan ‘tweeted’ Adur & Worthing Council Services (AWCS) about the burned out bins. AWCS immediately responded through Twitter and by 11.00 am this morning the bins were replaced.  This is just one example of the excellent use of social media by AWCS on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If you want to know what’s happened to your refuse collection or want to report fly tipping and know that it’s being dealt with follow @AdurWorthingCS on Twitter.
Bob Smytherman, another avid Twitter user and Worthing Lib Dem Press Officer said: “Adur & Worthing’s refuse team have shown the way how local authority departments should use the social media – by truly engaging with their community.  I urge all Worthing Borough departments to follow their excellent example.
GOODBYE TO A FINE AND OUTSTANDING COUNCILLOR 

Friday 3rd February –  Today saw the funeral of Conservative Worthing Borough Councillor Reg Green who represented Offington since his election in 1997.  Worthing Liberal Democrats Group Leader Alan Rice, East Worthing Chair James Nelson, and Worthing West Chair Keith Sunderland expressed their thoughts in a letter to the local press at this sad loss:
“As a group we have been deeply saddened by the loss of Reg Green – a fine and outstanding councillor for whom we had the greatest respect although we were on opposite sides of the chamber. Reg never failed to stand up for his Offington and Findon residents and showed us all exactly how a ward councillor should act – speaking up for residents at every opportunity. Worthing as a whole owes a great debt to Reg for the time and effort he put in to serve his community – he will be long remembered. The hearts and love of all Worthing Liberal Democrat members go out to his wife Doreen at this time and our thoughts and prayers are with her.”
WORTHING TORY CABINET REJECTS JOB CREATION MOTION  
Friday 3rd February –  Minutes released today from the Adur & Worthing Joint Strategic Committee held on January 24th show the decision by the committee on Lib Dem Leader Alan Rice’s motion to support economic development and job creation in Worthing.  The decision made by the committee is to recommend to Worthing Council that the Notice of Motion be not supported. The wording of the motion was almost ‘word-for-word’ to one passed last year by West Sussex County Council. The West Sussex motion was moved by Conservative Councillor Bob Lanzer who is also Leader of Crawley Borough Council and received the support at County Hall of Worthing based Conservative Councillors including Worthing’s Cabinet Member for Resources Steve Waight.
Saturday 4th February –  Conservative Minister of State for Housing & Local Government Grant Shapps’ announcement to trial 12 ‘Portas Pilots’ in struggling towns across England has sparked great interest among Dan Thompson and his “Pop Up People” colleagues today.  Mary Portas and Grant Shapps are handing the towns the chance to breathe new life into their ailing high streets with a competition to choose 12 towns to become ‘Portas Pilots’, with the winners benefitting from a share of £1 million to help turn around their “unloved and unused high streets”.  Dan called on Twitter for Paul Yallop, Leader of the Council to back a community effort in bidding to become a pilot – Mr Yallop is yet to respond. Worthing Lib Dems have given their full support. Follow the debate on Twitter @artistmakers.
PORTAS PILOT SPARKS WORTHING COMMUNITY INTEREST
Saturday 4th February –  Conservative Minister of State for Housing & Local Government Grant Shapps’ announcement to trial 12 ‘Portas Pilots’ in struggling towns across England has sparked great interest among Dan Thompson and his “Pop Up People” colleagues today.  Mary Portas and Grant Shapps are handing the towns the chance to breathe new life into their ailing high streets with a competition to choose 12 towns to become ‘Portas Pilots’, with the winners benefitting from a share of £1 million to help turn around their “unloved and unused high streets”.  Dan called on Twitter for Paul Yallop, Leader of the Council to back a community effort in bidding to become a pilot – Mr Yallop is yet to respond. Worthing Lib Dems have given their full support. Follow the debate on Twitter @artistmakers.
DIARY
Monday 6th February – WBC Cabinet – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 8th February – Worthing West & East Arun Lib Dem Annual Dinner speaker Steve Webb – Beechwood Hall, Worthing at 7.00 for 7.30 pm
Wednesday 8th February – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm

Saturday 11th February – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am

Saturday 11th February – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to noon
FURTHER AHEAD
Wednesday 15th February – Licensing and Control Committee B Quality Food Cash & Carry – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Friday 17th February – WSCC County Council Meeting (Council Tax Setting -meeting will be webcast) – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Tuesday 21st February – WBC Council Meeting (Council Tax Setting) – Council Chamber, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 21st February – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm
                                    and every third Tuesday of the month
Thursday 23rd February – WSCC West Sussex Joint Commissioning Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Tuesday 28th February – WSCC Rights of Way Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Tuesday 28th February – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Shoreham at 6.30 pm
Wednesday 29th February – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Saturday 3rd March – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Shops 10.00 to 10.30 am
                                and every first Saturday of the month
Saturday 3rd March – 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 3rd March – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 2.00 to 4.00 pm
Saturday 3rd March – Arundel & South Downs Lib Dem Annual Dinner speaker Lynne Featherstone – Mid Sussex Golf Club, Spatham Lane, Ditchling, Hassocks at 7.00 for 7.30 pm
Printed and hosted by  BIGEGO, P O Box 2095, West Sussex BN12 9AR
Published and promoted by Worthing Liberal Democrats, 18 Woodlea Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BN