Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

West Sussex Tories ignore Tourism in their own motion to support the local economy

Tories vote down a Lib Dem proposal to put Tourism at heart of Economic Development agenda for the County.

During the afternoon session of yesterday’s (Friday) meeting of the County Council. Councillors discussed a Tory motion to drive economic development throughout West Sussex, which is something the Liberal Democrat group have been calling for, for sometime at meetings of the Strategic Environment select committee (SES).

Not wanting to forget the visitor and tourism economy, which is an essential ingredient in the County’s vision for growth, Senior Liberal Democrat Councillor Dr Nigel Dennis , who is also Vice Chair of the SES committee proposed a simple amendment to include tourism as a major focus for the strategy, West Sussex Tory Councillors representing all areas of the County took to their feet and lined up to speak against the two word amendment ‘including tourism’, which was sadly voted down by Tory members.

Dr Dennis, Lib Dem Spokesman for Economic Development and Tourism, commented after the meeting,

‘Tourism is crucial to the local economy of West Sussex, but has been sidelined by the County Council in recent times. Two years ago the Conservatives closed down the County Council’s Tourism Promotion Unit. Without a concerted effort, West Sussex will lag further and further behind neighbouring areas such as Kent in supporting and promoting tourism. Conservatives in West Sussex have just shown that they are not going to change their spots in terms of their derisory attitude towards tourism and the visitor economy which is so vital for growth in our area.”


The full motion put to the County Council by County Councillor & Tory Leader of Crawley Borough Council Bob Lanzer was:

“This council notes that the continued sluggish performance of the UK economy is mirrored in the West Sussex local economy.  The Council therefore believes it is imperative to do all it can to support businesses locally 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 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 activity 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 the West Sussex local economy”

An amendment was moved by Tory Brad Watson and supported by the whole County Council,

“Further, the Council asks the Cabinet member for Finance and Resources to assist the Deputy Leader in bringing forward the proposals by making available resources from capital.”

However the Lib Dems amendment to the original motion:  adding ‘including tourism’, after support businesses locally was voted down by Tory members.