Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 29th September to 5th October 2013

Leader: Europe must take threats of ‘destructive alien species’ seriously
News this past week:
1. Worthing Planning Department In ‘Special Measures’?
2. Europe Has A Responsibility To Syrian Refugee Crisis
3. East Worthing Cheese & Wine Party
4. Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week
  • Lib Dems will keep County services local where ever possible
  • Lib Dems will devolve more money to be spent locally and allow residents to decide how it’s spent
  • Lib Dems will ensure vulnerable people are safeguarded and support 20 mph in Worthing’s residential roads
Leader: Europe must take threats of ‘destructive alien species’ seriously
Residents and businesses have alerted Worthing Liberal Democrats in recent months about Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed invading green spaces and allotments in East Worthing. Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder has taken up the cause in Europe and this week we repeat her recent article on the South East Region Liberal Democrats website.

“Tackling invasive threats to indigenous wildlife and agriculture can only be dealt with at international level, says Catherine Bearder.

Minks killing water voles, American crayfish displacing our native species and giant hogweed strangling local plants are just some the invaders threatening the biodiversity in my constituency.

The commission has begun the process of tackling these threats with a proposal for regulation on the ‘Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species’. Of course, a lot of alien species are already established in our environment. Nobody’s garden would be looking the way it has this summer without the beautiful variety of plants from around the world. What I and others are concerned about are the invasive species that come in, take over, and destroy the natural biodiversity and that would threaten our countryside.

A well reported recent example in south east England is the plight of the water vole. They are now severely threatened with just pockets of them left. The invasive species to blame for this is the mink that were imported from America for the fur trade and at various points released into the wild.

There can be various causes for the invasions taking place. A popular children’s cartoon of the 1980s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, led to a craze of buying red eared terrapins. Children became bored of the pets almost as quickly as the television programme and many of them were released into the wild. They are breeding and displacing many native species. This is an issue that can only be tackled at an international level because, funnily enough, these plants and animals don’t recognise national borders.

Belgium had an excellent programme for knocking out the Japanese knotweed but it would always return from France where there was no similar eradication programme. We have to work on these issues across borders and look at sharing best practice. It has to be a plan for the whole of Europe.

Whether blowing on the wind or on the mud of car wheel getting off the channel tunnel, these invasions can be on a microscopic level. They are not just a threat to our wildlife but to our agriculture, horticulture, and pet economies too. Our trade within Europe and beyond can lead to numerous threats and we need to be on guard to take action when a threat is identified.

Proposed legislation to tackle this issue has now been released and, while welcome, I feel it doesn’t go far enough to fully address the problem, particularly in the level of detail required. Parliament will have a crucial role to play and interesting ideas are beginning to emerge.

Suggestions from groups such as the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds like establishing an ‘introducer liability’ similar to the ‘polluter pays’ principle seen in other EU environmental legislation have already been talked about. This may work when the person introducing the new species has clear knowledge of the potential danger but will be much harder to provide liability for accidental introduction.

I believe that the focus of the EU’s work should be on prevention rather than reaction. It is much harder to turn back the tide of infection and invasion once the floodgates have opened. Our environment is so fragile and under threat from so many different pressures. To add in to our environment animals and plants that displace and destroy is a threat that must be taken seriously.”

Worthing Liberal Democrats

Monday 30th September – Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released on Friday September 27th show Worthing is just one of three councils that determined fewer than 30% of major planning applications within 13 weeks in the two-year period July 2011 to July 2013. The failure triggers the Government’s ‘special measures’ designation policy introduced by the Growth and Infrastructure Act in May. Under the policy, local planning authorities which determine 30% or fewer of the major planning applications within the statutory period can be designated as underperforming.

If a local authority is designated as underperforming, developers can choose to submit planning applications for major developments to the Planning Inspectorate for determination instead of the council. The DCLG said no final decision on designation has been taken as yet. The figures have to be verified by Worthing Borough Council so they can explain any exceptional circumstances first. Worthing’s Local Plan will remain the focus for where development should or should not go.


Thursday 3rd October – The EU and its member states should guarantee Syrian refugees safe entry to the EU and access to fair asylum procedures, says the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee in a resolution voted on today.This cross party support follows the Liberal Democrat (ALDE) group’s appeal to the European Union to convene a major humanitarian Conference on the Syrian refugee crisis and to offer refugees a temporary access to the EU last month. The resolution calls on the EU to go on providing humanitarian aid and support and on Syria’s neighbouring countries to keep their borders open. Over 2 million refugees, 76% of whom are women and children, have now fled Syria. Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said: “The pictures we have seen of this refugee crisis are heartbreaking and the European Union has a responsibility to respond. These people, overwhelmingly women and children, are being killed and displaced on a daily basis on the doorstep of the EU. We should be helping them and the countries that are already overstretched with this issue. The fact that the UK parliament voted against our involvement with potential military action in Syria does not mean we should do nothing. The UK, with the rest of the EU have a responsibility to work together to help these refugees.The EU is the number one donor of humanitarian assistance so has to play a key role in ending the Syrian refugee crisis as well as the conflict.” (Catherine Bearder – Press Release)


Friday 4th October – East Worthing & Adur Liberal Democrtas hold a fund raising Cheese & Wine Party on Friday 11th October at 30 The Meadway, Shoreham Beach from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm by invitation of Peter and Jackie Bartram. Parliamentary candidate Jemima Bland is Special Guest. Enjoy a scrumptious buffet of English and continental cheeses accompanied by a selection of biscuits as well as celery, grapes and sweet cheery tomatoes – all washed down with some very drinkable white and red wines. Tickets are £10 and cheques made out to East Worthing & Adur Liberal Democrats should be sent to 30 The Meadway, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5RP.


Saturday 5th October – Next week is the first Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week which is championed by Mayor Bob Smytherman and Mayoress Norah Fisher. Bob has chosen Mental Health causes for the Mayoral Charities – Alzheimer’s Society, Guild Care and Worthing & Arun Mind. In the UK one in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time and depression affects one in five of older people.

Bob said: “I have chosen to support Alzheimer’s Society, Guild Care and Worthing & Arun Mind for my mayoral charities in 2013/14 because they are causes close to my heart championing mental health. These are much loved organisations in Worthing, making a real difference in supporting local people and I hope you will join me in helping them to continue the great work that they do.”


Tuesday 8th October – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Thursday 10th October – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Christ Church Hall. Grafton Road 3.00 to 4.00 pm
                                   and every second Thursday in the month
Friday 11th October – WSCC Sussex Police and Crime Panel – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Friday 11th October – East Worthing & Adur Lib Dems Cheese & Wine Party – 30 Meadway, Shoreham Beach 7.30 to 9.30 pm
                                  Tickets £10 each – send cheques to 30 The Meadway, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5RP                                                                   Saturday 12th October – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards Church, Maybridge 10.00 am to 10.30 am
Saturday 12th October – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Parade shops 10.00 am to 11.00 am
Saturday 12th October – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church 10.30 am to noon
Tuesday 15th October – WBC Full Council – Council Chamber, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Thursday 17th October – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road 10.30 to 11.30 am
                                   and every third Thursday in the month
Friday 18th October – WSCC Full Council (meeting to be webcast) – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Saturday 19th October – South East Lib Dem Autumn Regional Conference – Lancing Parish Hall from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm
Thursday 24th October – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee at 10.30 am
Wednesday 30th October – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 30th October – Jemima for Westminster Fund Raising Dinner at the National Liberal Club, 1 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 8HE at 7.00 pm for 7.30pm
                                     Tickets: £100 each from Ms Jemima Bland, 25 Church Street, Shoreham-by-Sea
Saturday 2nd November – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road 10.30 am to noon
                                      and every first Saturday in the month
Saturday 2nd November – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – Muldoons Coffee Shop, Cricketers Parade, Broadwater 3.00 to 4.00 pm
                                      and every first Saturday in the month
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