Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 6th to 12th May 2012

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Nick agrees with us

News this past week: 

1. Worthing Tories Vote Share Down 7%
2. New Shadow Cabinet
3. New Deputy Mayor – Two For The Price Of One
4  Queen’s Speech Has Lib Dem Stamp
5. It’s Not Easy Being Green
6. Business As Usual From Worthing Lib Dems

WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER  6TH TO 12TH MAY 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:  Nick agrees with us
Worthing Liberal Democrats Leader Alan Rice was the first to ask a question to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on an internal party webinar on Thursday.  Alan asked Nick: “In view of the difficulty in getting banks to on-lend to industry would it be possible to create an “Industrial Bank” lending new Government quantatitive easing directly to industry and by-passing the present banking system?”  In a strange quirk of timing the question was e-mailed at noon at exactly the same time Bloomberg reported Bank of England officials had halted stimulus expansion after seven months of bond purchases as the threat of inflation trumped concerns about the economy.  So Alan thought “I take that as a ‘no’ then” but in his reply Nick said the idea was being considered. Nick agreed with us.This concern over the banks followed Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech to Parliament when the coalition Government announced a bill to deliver greater financial stability and finally separate retail banking, on which households and small business rely, from the more risky investment activity. It would insulate personal finance from global financial shocks and make banks easier to resolve without taxpayer support. This was a result of a Liberal Democrat campaign led by Vince Cable to reform banks so they can no longer be in a position to hold the country to ransom when their financial gambles don’t pay off.  We agree with Vince.Also this week was a timely reminder casino banks have not taken the pledge and joined Gamblers’ Anonymous, as US investment bank JP Morgan confessed a trader in its London office is sitting on a two billion US dollar loss or at today’s exchange rates £1.25 billion.  Compare that with the Kings Fund estimate in March last year that by 2014-15 there could be a £1.2bn funding gap in adult social care.  Apparently
JP Morgan has sufficient capital to swallow the loss easily – Worthing Liberal Democrats find it much more difficult to swallow.  We don’t agree with JP Morgan.

US Banks including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been whinging about moves to regulate their gambling under the Dodd-Frank Act which requires US banks to ban proprietary trading – trading for themselves rather than on behalf of clients. Democrat Representative Barney Frank who co-wrote the law that bears his name said the loss “obviously goes counter to the bank’s narrative blaming excessive regulation for the woes of financial institutions.”   We agree with Barney.

Nick in his answer mentioned other ways of getting money to industry and creating those much needed jobs. Ideas on the table for discussion include mezzanine financing and peer-to-peer lending. The State Industrial Bank as proposed by Alan was likened by Nick to the Green Investment Bank – another Liberal Democrat policy contained in the Queen’s Speech.  Worthing Liberal Democrats are determined to take an active part in pursuing policies to curb casino banking and to put money into job creation – not only nationally but locally as well.

To that end, in December last year Worthing Liberal Democrats introduced a motion to release capital to fund regeneration and local job creation in Worthing. The motion was deferred until February as “not urgent” and then dismissed by a complacent Tory administration who quoted figures showing a drop in unemployment.  In contradiction the West Sussex Gazette reported in April a rise in the number of unemployed in Worthing. The number had increased from 1,811 in October to 2,012 in March.   Worthing Tories appear to have an unchanged Cabinet for this coming year.  We trust their policies will not also be unchanged.
In opposition Worthing Liberal Democrats will continue in the words of Michael Heseltine to “intervene before breakfast, dinner and tea” to help Worthing companies and residents by whatever means possible.

Nick agrees with us and we feel certain Worthing will agree with us too – please let us know.

Worthing Liberal Democrats 

NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK

WORTHING TORIES VOTE SHARE DOWN 7%

Sunday 6th May – Analysis of last week’s Worthing Borough Council Elections by Worthing Liberal Democrats showed the Tory share of the vote across Worthing dropped by a massive 7%. Comparing the vote share obtained by each party in 2012 with the wards contested in 2011 the figures are as follows: Liberal Democrats down 1.2%, Tories down 7%, Labour down 1.1%, UKIP up 7.5.% and Green up 1.8%.  Neither Durrington nor Northbrook are contained in the calculation as those two wards were not contested in 2011.  Durrington was a successful hold for Liberal Democrat Michael Donin and Northbrook a well-earned gain for returning Lib Dem Keith Sunderland.  Worthing Liberal Democrats believe no other South East Region Lib Dem Group achieved a better result and was only equalled by Mole Valley who also gained one seat.
Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader said: “These figures prove the big losers last Thursday were the Tories with the Lib Dems little changed as indeed were the Labour Party. Worthing Liberal Democrats continue to be the only party that can possibly defeat the Tories. UKIP were winners on vote share but unfortunately with a turnout figure of just 26.8% the biggest winner was apathy. It is up to all parties to tackle that apathy and Worthing Lib Dems will take a leading role in so doing this year.”
NEW SHADOW CABINET
Tuesday 8th May – Tonight Worthing Liberal Democrats formed their new Shadow Cabinet for the 2012-13 council year. Alan Rice remains Leader but the Deputy Leader has changed with returning councillor Keith Sunderland taking on the position. The former Deputy Leader Norah Fisher has stepped down to take up her new role as Deputy Mayor consort (see article below).  Norah is also stepping down as Shadow Cabinet Member for Resources where Hazel Thorpe is making a welcome return to the Shadow Cabinet by taking this very important portfolio.  As the new Deputy Mayor Bob Smytherman has also stepped down as Shadow Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, we have a new Shadow Cabinet Member Michael Donin to continue Bob’s excellent work. Keith Sunderland, in addition to being Deputy Leader, will take on the Shadow Cabinet Member for Regeneration role from which Victoria Taylor is also stepping down owing to work and family commitments. Victoria has set a very high standard and will be a hard act to follow. Both David Chapman as Shadow Cabinet Member for Customer Services and David Potter as Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment remain in their positions building on their excellent work during the past year.
Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice said:  “It is sad to loseShadow Cabinet Members – especially such hard working and experienced ones.  I wish Bob, Norah and Victoria the best of luck in their new roles but I am sure they won’t need it as they have proved admirably over the past year. We understand the Tories have the same old tired Cabinet, so we expect the same old tired policies.  We hoped 2012 would be a year of change for Worthing but Worthing seems cursed to disappointment.  Our new refreshed Shadow Cabinet is more than ready to hold the Tories to account and press for the much needed change to improve the lives of Worthing’s residents – bring it on.”
NEW DEPUTY MAYOR – TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
Tuesday 8th May – Worthing’s next Deputy Mayor for 2012-12, and Mayor for 2013-14, Bob Smytherman has chosen Norah Fisher to be his Consort. Norah successfuly held her Tarring seat for Worthing Liberal Democrats at the recent Borough election with a majority of more than 700.  Held in high esteem both as a councillor, and for her voluntary work Norah is a familiar daily sight on the streets of Worthing faithfully accompanied by her canine Labradoodle assistant Herbie. Norah is looking forward to her new role with gusto.
Bob said: “I am delighted Norah has accepted my invitation to be my Consort.  We will compliment each other making a great team.  Both of us look forward to serving Worthing and its residents in the coming two years. It has been a while since we had a Lib Dem Mayor but now we have two Lib Dems for the price of one.”
QUEEN’S SPEECH HAS LIB DEM STAMP
Wednesday 9th May –  Commenting on today’s Queen’s Speech Nick Clegg said: “Today’s Queen’s Speech has again shown that the Liberal Democrats are punching way above their weight – and we can be proud of that.  It included many of the long-term reforms we’ve campaigned for, such as reform of the banks. These will help build a sustainable future for our country. In 2010, we took the decision together to enter into a Coalition Government so we could do the right thing for the country at a time of economic crisis. Today we’ve focused on helping families and supporting growth and jobs.  Vince Cable will regulate the banks so they can no longer be in a position to hold the country to ransom when their financial gambles don’t pay off.  And Ed Davey will establish the world’s first Green Investment Bank and introduce electricity market reform to protect consumers, support  low-carbon energy and invest in renewables.  We’re also helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Steve Webb will help pensioners by introducing a flat-rate pension. We’ll propose a way to modernise adult care and support, finally ensuring dignity in old age. Today also clearly set out our collective determination to reform the House of Lords, an historic commitment of our party. There’s so much more I could highlight: Sarah Teather’s work on improving support for children with special educational needs, our support for flexible working and shared parental leave and our proposals to strengthen the hand of farmers and other suppliers of supermarkets through an independent adjudicator. This Queen’s Speech has a firm Liberal Democrat stamp on it, delivering on what we’ve passed at Conference and pounded the pavements and knocked on doors for.”
IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN
Thursday 10th May – Former Worthing Liberal Democrat Councillor James Doyle announced today he has officially joined the Green Party. Cllr Doyle stood down before last week’s Worthing Borough election from Selden ward where he was elected as Liberal Democrat in 2008.  James remains County Councillor for Worthing Pier Division which he won as the Liberal Democrat candidate in 2009 before becoming an Independent in January last year.  He remains sitting in County as an Independent but will defend his seat as a Green in 2013.
Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice said: “When I saw James’ announcement I was reminded of Muppets star host Kermit the Frog’s theme song ‘It’s not easy being green’.  And it won’t be easy for James. He will certainly have his work cut out for him after the poor showing by the Green Party in last week’s Borough elections. Against Lib Dem winner in Northbrook Keith Sunderland, the Green Party polled just 63 votes. Nevertheless we welcome the challenge that James’s decision will bring – let the best man or woman win.”
BUSINESS AS USUAL FROM WORTHING LIB DEMS
Saturday 11th May – Worthing Liberal Democrats Bob Smytherman, Alan Rice and Keith Sunderland put their heads together over the last few days with West Sussex County Council to aid traders in South Street, Tarring facing a loss of business from the closing of West Worthing Rail Crossing,  The crossing is being closed for eight weeks to install new traffic lights. The Lib Dem councillors first tried to get parking restrictions lifted and a temporary unloading bay but this would need a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) taking six weeks to put in place.  But they were able to deal with the misconception given by the signs which bluntly stated South Street is closed, through organising new signs which assured residents and visitors that businesses were open as usual. The new signs were in place today.
DIARY
Wednesday 16th May – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – The Durrington Community Centre, New Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 17th May – WSCC West Sussex Joint Commissioning Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Saturday 19th May – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Shops 10.00 to 10.30 am
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
Saturday 19th May – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to noon

FURTHER AHEAD

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
Saturday 2nd June – 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 2nd June – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 3.00 to 4.00 pm
and every first Saturday of the month

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Published and promoted by Worthing Liberal Democrats, 18 Woodlea Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BN

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