Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 8th to 14th July 2012

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Love parks

News this past week: 

1. Lib Dem Chains Himself to Lamp Post

2. On The Picket Line At Worthing High
3  Cabinet Member Has No Idea On Theatre Losses
4. Brucie Bonus on Heritage Lamps
5. Sackville School Safety Zone Gets Yellow Lines At Last
6. Broadwater Notice Board Still Missing
7. Jackie Cranefield’s Famous Strawberry Tea


      •     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:  Love parks
Saturday sees the start of Love Parks Week 2012 to raise the awareness of the importance of parks and green spaces.  Hundreds of independent event organisers have planned over 1000 events in the UK’s largest celebration of green spaces with over 1.3 million people expected to attend. Yet a search of the Love Parks website for an event near us produces not a single event in Worthing – the nearest are Lyminister Church Fete at The Paddocks, Lyminster; Arundel Proms at Jubilee Gardens, Arundel (two day event) and a Mini Play Day at Heo Green, Wick, Littlehampton.
In the same vein this week Horticulture Week launched “Parks a Priority” calling for a fresh Parliamentary enquiry into parks.  Recent research shows local authorities made cuts to budgets last year of 20-30% which if sustained for 3-4 years could mean green spaces facing a 50% funding cut on 2010 levels. The “Parks a Priority” campaign is urging MPs to sign Early Day Motion 219 which was tabled on 18th June with Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Roger Williams as the prime mover.  As at today the motion has attracted twenty supporters – 4 Lib Dems, 14 Labour and 2 Democratic Unionists.  Not a single Tory MP has signed up and nor has Brighton’s Green Party MP.
Early Day Motion 219 is entitled “Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks” and reads: “That this House is concerned about the damage being caused to Britain’s urban parks and green spaces by disproportionate cuts to their maintenance in local government budget savings, the loss of skills in professional horticulture in the public sector through staff redundancies and the lack of investment in parks, negatively impacting on health, social well-being and community cohesion; notes that, for example, London parks budgets have fallen by 44 per cent in the past four years while Liverpool has lost a third of its parks budget in the last two years along with 65 parks staff; recognises the challenge for green space professionals with the absence of a national level department, body or function with a watching brief for the UK’s urban parks; and calls on the Government to address these concerns in a new inquiry into urban parks.”
This Leader raised the issue of Worthing’s green spaces last week and we make no apologies for doing so again this week.  Worthing’s green spaces are important to us and important to residents.  Worthing Liberal Democrats will fight to not only protect those green spaces but to bring about improvements wherever we can.  We will continue to support residents efforts at Kitties Field, at Homefield Park, at Pond Lane and the efforts of Selden Kids in Play (SKIP) to provide a green space in East Worthing.
Green spaces are also being lost at our schools as schools have to expand to take in the influx of “baby boom” starters – Bramber First and Whytemead First are two examples.  Worthing Liberal Democrats will fight there to get additional green space made available so this vital asset is not lost to our children.
But how can that be done with expected funding cuts?  Worthing Liberal Democrats believe the best way is to put our green spaces into the hands of the local community – not only looking to limit losses but to improve parks for use by all members of the community regardless of age and at all times of the day including the twilight hours and yes, even nights.
By making them safe, clean and attractive let’s give our communities a reason to genuinely love parks.
Worthing Liberal Democrats 
Monday 9th July – Heene Lib Dem activist Bruce Webster sprang into action when told of the threatened removal of heritage lamp posts from Browning Road. Liaising with local residents, West Sussex County Council, SSE Lighting and local media, Bruce fought tooth and nail to stop removal of the heritage lamps. When all other efforts failed Bruce had no option but to chain himself to one of the lamp posts to prevent it’s and others’ loss.  Heene has three Tory councillors and a Tory County Councillor but they were nowhere to be seen and, when asked, felt there was little they could do.  An approach to Tory Leader of the Council Paul Yallop also had no effect but Lib Dems don’t have to be councillors to show care for their communities which Bruce proved. Bruce initially obtained a stay of execution and further possibilities to save the lamps are being explored.
Wednesday 11th July – West Sussex County Councillors Bob Smytherman and Alan Rice were up early this morning to show their support for teachers and parents on a picket line outside Worthing High.  Worthing Liberal Democrats fully support the pleas of Worthing High parents, pupils and teachers for more consultation and information on the school’s application to become an academy.  BBC Radio Sussex were there at
7.00 am for live broadcasts and a radio call-in of the teacher’s strike. Worthing Liberal Democrats understand not a single person rang in to support the move to an academy.  One academy supporter taking a great interest was local Tory MP Tim Loughton who continually exchanged views on Twitter with the two county councillors throughout the morning.  Parents and Teachers have formed Worthing High Academy Action Group (WHAAG) to make their voice heard and, during a rally after the picket, WHAAG revealed they are making a legal challenge to Worthing High over the lack of consultation.  Worthing Liberal Democrats support their move to get a true and accurate picture of the facts.
Alan Rice said: “Mr Loughton is not listening to the parents, teachers or pupils. Bob Smytherman and I are listening which appears to rattle Tim. He engaged with us all morning – must have been a slack day at the office.”
Thursday 12th July – Tory Cabinet Member for Customer Services Mary Lermitte was interviewed tonight by the Adur & Worthing Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee on her portfolio.  As her portfolio contains the current hot potato Theatres, Lib Dem Committee Member Michael Donin posed some questions on the new Theatres Advisory Group.  Michael established the group has just two councillor members, Leader of the Council Paul Yallop and the Cabinet Member herself.  Outside members include the Worthing Theatre Trust and the Worthing Society.  Lib Dem David Chapman who was in the original Worthing Theatres Working Party has not been invited to join the new body. Michael asked Mrs Lermitte how much had been lost on the theatres since the beginning of the year – reminding her that Paul Yallop was famously quoted last year as saying theatres were losing £3,000 a day.  Mrs Lermitte was unable to even give a ball-park figure – only saying the Denton Lounge catering had improved.
Michael said:  “When I worked in private industry and we had a department in serious difficulty we would be monitoring that department at least on a monthly basis, if not on a weekly or daily basis.  It beggars belief Worthing’s Tory administration appears to have no idea whether budgeted savings are being achieved or indeed whether theatres are in a profit or a loss situation.  How can they be so cavalier with council tax payers’ money? Do we really have to wait to next year to find out?”
Friday 13th July – Persistance has paid off for Lib Dem activist Bruce Webster when the West Sussex Street Lighting Team Leader advised this morning “I have asked the service provider to leave just the cast iron columns, he will be removing the old aluminium and concrete ones.”  West Sussex also advised Worthing Borough Council has asked West Sussex to paint all columns in the conservation area in black. They are working with their service provider to see if they can get this done. The columns are painted in the shops and it is not as straight forward as it could have been.
Bruce said: “It is a bit of a shame Worthing Borough didn’t ask for this during the consultation as it would have been easy to do then.  Nevertheless we have definitely made progress – it’s been a bit of a Brucie bonus day.”
Friday 13th July – In March 2010 Broadwater Police Neighbourhood Panel Chair Chris Poore was advised by West Sussex the Sackville School Safety Zone had been rescued from Tory cuts by the intervention of Lib Dem County Councillor Alan Rice.  The plans were all agreed and the necessary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) in place including double yellow lines at the junction of Sackville Road and Sackville Way. Several  phone calls and e-mails later today including a question raised by Alan Rice in Council of the Cabinet Member saw the actual the actual painting of the yellow lines today at last.
Alan said: “It continues to amaze me the amount of time and effort residents and I have to put in to get some agreed work completed.  Well done to Chris for his persistance and for keeping me on the ball.”

Friday 13th July – In June 2011 West Sussex Lib Dem County Councillor Alan Rice successfully applied to the Worthing County Local Committee for £1250 funding to install a Community Notice Board on the Cricketer’s Green Parade in Broadwater.  Over a year later and many shifts of blame between West Sussex County Council and Worthing Borough Council the notice board is at today still not in place.  Apparently Worthing Borough Council are now awaiting a licence from West Sussex to erect the notice board on West Sussex land.  Alan has chased yet again this week but holding his breath could well prove suicidal.
Saturday 14th July – Next Sunday 22nd JuIy Lib Dem activist Jackie Cranefield will be holding her famous annual Strawberry Tea – an event not to be missed by the discerning. Tea and Pimms will be served at 45 Salvington Road – just turn up from 4.00 pm or let Jackie know on 01903 266143, mobile 07973 961003 or e-mail at  Tickets are £10 per head and all proceeds will go to promote the work and policies of Worthing Liberal Democrats.
Tuesday 17th July – WBC Full Council – Council Hall Chamber, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 17th July – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm
and every third Tuesday of the month
Wednesday 18th July – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – The Durrington Community Centre, New Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Friday 20th July – WSCC Full Council (meeting will be webcast) – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Saturday 21st July – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Shops 10.00 to 10.30 am
Saturday 21st July – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 12.00 noon

Sunday 22nd July – Jackie Cranefield’s Famous Strawberry Tea – 45 Salvington Road at 4.00 pm
Tuesday 24th July – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 25th July – WSCC Pensions Panel – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 25th July – WSCC Pensions Panel – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Thursday 26th July – WSCC West Sussex Joint Commissioning Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Thursday 26th July – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Commitee – Town Hall at 6.30 pm
Saturday 4th August – 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 4th August – Lib Dem Broadwater Ward Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm
and every first Saturday of the month