Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

West Sussex joins Britain’s Pathfinder trail

West Sussex has been chosen by the Government to become part of a Programme pioneering ways of joining up resources and buildings belonging to different Public Sector Organisations.

‘Better Together’ is the name of the West Sussex County-wide Programme that is already focusing on collaboration, co-delivery and innovation through partnership working with the County, District and Borough councils together with Health Services, Sussex Police, Voluntary Services and the Civil Service Estate.

Due to the progress made in the Better Together Programme, West Sussex has been selected to become one of Britain’s few Pathfinder areas to demonstrate to central Government and other public sector partners that if buildings are used more effectively, for example, sharing accommodation space with other partners our organisations will save money and our customers will benefit by having co-located services.

“It is excellent news to see that the West Sussex Better Together Programme has been recognised as one of the country’s major partnership working projects, and a key part of a nationwide move to drive down costs,” said Louise  Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council.

“This sharing of what we have, and what we can create, is absolutely what the Big Society is all about. Every Public Sector Organisation in West Sussex is facing a tough time financially, and all our Partnership Members are keen to find ways of reducing costs and improving efficiency.  Becoming a Pathfinder will be a tremendous boost.”

Examples of partnership projects in West Sussex include the recently completed £10m regeneration scheme with Crawley Borough Council at Langley Green which now offers a shared community and family centre, new medical centre, improved school facilities, whilst improving local commercial premises and public car parking.

At County Hall North, in Horsham the County Council is now sharing its space with both the Health Protection Agency and the Inland Revenue.

Also in Horsham, the District Council and the County Council are working together to develop plans for the regeneration of two extensive areas in mixed public ownership. In time this collaboration will help create better facilities, more attractive places as well as generating significant capital receipts and reduced running costs.

The County Council and Chichester District Council have been working together on a joint £6 million project to rebuild a leisure centre at Midhurst which will include a library and other shared facilities.

In Adur and Worthing Councils, the Community Safety Teams share space at both Adur and Worthing Police Stations and the two councils also share their offices for most of their services.

A regeneration project at Shoreham that could include a new medical centre and library, and include sharing a contact point for the County and District Councils has the potential to be a prime candidate for the new pathfinder support programme, subject to full public consultation.

Representatives from West Sussex have now shared experiences with other Pathfinder authorities at a special meeting in London in October, chaired by Baroness Hanham, Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government. All agreed that the programme provides an exciting  opportunity to take this work further for the benefit of West Sussex.

Notes for editors

The West Sussex Better Together Partnership Programme comprises the County Council, West Sussex district and borough councils, health services, Sussex Police, voluntary services and Civil Service