Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 15th to 21st January 2012

Articles for the past week:
Leader:  Regeneration? Manana!        
News this past week:
1. South East Plan Cancellation Leaves Worthing In A Vacuum
2. Worthing Community Infrastructure Levy Not Expected Until Summer 2013
3. Worthing Public Realm Strategy Technical Work Will Only Begin In 2013
4. Hazel Thorpe Gives Worthing Design Awards Green Aspect
5. East Worthing Lib Dems Fully Support SKIP
6. Rampion Wind Farm Consultation Dates
  •    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:  Regeneration?  Manana!
Like the proverbial jam, with Worthing’s Tories it is never regeneration today – it is always regeneration tomorrow. There is always a new reason why the hopes and wishes of Worthing’s residents are pushed further and further into the future. It is no wonder we find so much apathy on the doorsteps – “nothing ever happens”. Worthing is crying out for regeneration to create the much needed jobs and give the town a much needed lift in these hard economic times.  We agree – nothing ever happens. 
The latest Local Development Scheme (LDS) report issued this week to the Adur & Worthing Joint Planning Committee is just the latest example of further disappointing delays. The reason quoted this time is the government and the long awaited Localism Bill.  The bill should be a cause for celebration as more decisions are put in the hands of the local residents and the tools for so doing have been known for some considerable time. Whenever Worthing’s Liberal Democrats have asked what is happening to prepare for this new era of localism we have been told to “wait and see”.  It now appears we will have to wait and see until Summer 2013.
In April last year legislation was passed to authorise the Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL) which will be charged on new developments based on their type and size – we understand a charge per square metre.
Worthing has accepted from April last year that they will have to bring in the levy so why has there apparently been no prepapartion to do so as soon as practically possible?  Why is work on the scheme not already far advanced just awaiting the green flag?  Why will it not be in place for another 18 months at the earliest?  As this we understand will be a fixed levy on the developers to provide infrastructure in line with local residents’ wishes rather than the present S106 dice roll we can see why developers are not in a great hurry but shouldn’t our council be?
Worthing’s Lib Dems are not willing to sit idly by why the Tories pontificate and we are already pushing for more local decisions in Broadwater where we are working closely we local groups to create the right forum to take this forward.  We intend to get there before Summer 2013.       
We would like our regeneration today – not Manana. 
Worthing Liberal Democrats 
Tuesday 17th January The rejection of Regional Spacial Strategies which includes the South East Plan by the Government has left Worthing Borough Council in a vacuum. The latest Local Development Scheme (LDS) report states it was expected that the policies included within the Development Plan (the Worthing Core Strategy and the South East Plan) would provide a robust and comprehensive framework for determining planning applications. The report goes on to say “in line with prevailing guidance the Council did not duplicate the South East Plan policies when the Worthing Core Strategy was prepared. There is therefore a risk of a partial policy vacuum when the South East Plan is formally revoked.”  Planning officers are seeking to mitigate that risk through their current work programme. The South East Plan which is due to be revoked in the forthcoming Localism Bill covered among other things the number of houses to be built including specific targets for Worthing.  
Tuesday 17th January  The Local Development Scheme (LDS) report confirms Worthing Borough Council will operate the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations 2011 came into force on April 6th 2011 but Worthing planning officers do not expect CIL to be in place in Worthing until Summer 2013. Local authorities can choose to charge CIL on new developments in their area. The money can be used to support development for funding infrastructure that the council, local communities and neighbourhoods want – for example new roads, park improvements or a new health centre. The system is very simple. It applies to most new buildings and charges are based on the size and the type of the new development.  But Worthing residents will have to wait.
Victoria Taylor, Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “It is high time Worthing got ahead of the game and is not continuingly playing catch-up as far as regeneration is concerned.  Worthing’s residents have waited far too long already for the improvements to infrastructure so sorely needed.” 
Tuesday 17th January –  Work on documents providing technical guidance for defined areas of the borough (e.g. the seafront, town centre and Areas of Change) are unlikely to commence until 2013 according to the latest Local Development Scheme (LDS) report. The documents will establish some key priniciples relating to the public realm to ensure that there is a consistent approach to finishes, street furniture and design that helps to enhance the amenity of the site and surrounding area. The documents will also provide guidance and direction on the opportunities for future investment and commissioning of public realm and art in Worthing and will link in to the Public Art Strategy. But again Worthing residents will have to wait.
Victoria Taylor, Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “These documents will cover ‘Areas of Change’ but the only thing I can see is no change in the continued dither and delay by this Tory administration.  The only effective change will be a change of the adminstration to one run by the Liberal Democrats.”                         
Tuesday 17th January  Hazel Thorpe, Lib Dem Member of the Joint Adur & Worthing Planning Committee, was instrumental tonight in giving Worthing’s design awards a green aspect. In 1999 an annual award scheme called the ‘Distinction in Building Wards” was set up in Worthing. The aim of the scheme is to encourage high standrads of design and craftmanship in developments in Worthing, and to give public recognition to excellence in building.  There are six categories (A) Commercial & other uses; (B) New residential development; (C) Residential Extensions; (D) Shopfronts; (E) Building Restoration and (F) Access for Disabled People.  Hazel noticed there was not a category for sustainability and sought to introduce a new award.  The Planning Officer pointed out this would have resource implications and after discussion by the committee a compromise solution was achieved. Instead of an additional award, a sustainability and energy/environmentally friendly aspect will be placed on each of the design categories as a Distinction or Top Award.  Residents will be able to vote on the final designs chosen by the panel which could include Transition Town Worthing to advise on sustainability. It is suggested voting could be done through the Worthing and Shoreham Heralds. Planning officers are looking at the details and will report back.                 
Hazel said: “I was disappointed on reviewing the awards to find there was no sustainability factor which made me determined to bring one in.  Which is why I am delighted we were able to reach a compromise to give the awards that green aspect.”     
Friday 20th January –  East Worthing Liberal Democrats are pleased to announce today their support for SKIP – Selden Kids In Play.  SKIP are a local community action group of parents and local residents who are trying to get a children’s playground within Selden Ward/East Worthing.  A play area in Selden has been a long term wish of local residents over several years and East Worthing Liberal Democrats will do all they possibly can to help SKIP meet that wish.  SKIP have looked at a number of potential land parcels for the playground to be situated and after much consideration have identified the most suitable site as the grass area on Brighton Road seafront/promenade at the southern end of Windsor Road.
Friday 20th January –  The Rampion Offshore Wind Farm to generate renewable electricity is proposing to bring the cables onshore at Worthing and across the old landfill site north of Brooklands Park eventually to Bolney. A number of public consultations have been arranged – local dates are as follows: Worthing – Saturday 25th February at St Pauls, Chapel Street 10am to 6pm; Shoreham – Monday 5th March at the Holmbush Centre noon to 8pm; and Lancing – Thursday 29th March at Lancing Parish Hall noon to 8pm.  
Monday 23rd January – WSCC Governance Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Tuesday 24th January – ADC &WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Council Chamber, Adur Civic Centre at 6.30 pm
Wednesday 25th January – WSCC Adults’ Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 25th January – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 25th January – WSCC Worthing County Local Committee – Chatsworth Hotel, Worthing at 7.00 pm
Wednesday 25th January – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 26th January – WBC Licensing and Control SubCommittee B Hearing Tesco 24-26 Goring Road – Council Chamber, Town Hall at 10.00 am
Thursday 26th January – WSCC Community Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Friday 27th January – WSCC Policy & Resources Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Saturday 28th January – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am

Saturday 28th January – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am 
Tuesday 31st January – WSCC Cabinet – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Saturday 4th February – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – St Pauls Centre, Chapel Road 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
                              and every first Saturday of the month 
Saturday 4th February – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 2.00 to 4.00 pm  
                              and every first Saturday of the month
Wednesday 8th February – Worthing West & East Arun Lib Dem Annual Dinner speaker Steve Webb – Beechwood Hall, Worthing at 7.00 for 7.30 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
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
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