Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 30th October to 5th November 2011

Broadwater County Councillor Alan Rice

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Little to report       
News this past week:
1. Lib Dems Welcome Tory U-Turn On West Sussex Youth Services
2. Worthing Included In Revised Transport Funding Bid
3. Community Initiative Funding Stand at WCVS AGM 

  •    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 streets
  • Leader:  Little to report

Bryan Turner, Worthing Cabinet Member for Regeneration, is to be interviewed on Thursday by the Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee and held to account on his performance in the role. Officers have prepared a report to assist both the Cabinet Member and the committee members in their interview.

As Cabinet Member, Cllr Turner has responsibility for Economic Development including Tourism; Education Liaison; Transport planning and infrastructure; Planning Policy; Building Control; Coastal Protection; Foreshore Management; Health & Safety; Civil Contingencies and Emergency Planning.    
1,378 words of the report are devoted to Coastal Protection but only 388 words to Economic Development including Tourism of which Tourism is 97 words.  Coastal Protection is important but in these dire times we would have hoped for a few more words on Economic Development including Tourism.  We can only assume there is little to report.
Thinking about Coastal Protection we were reminded of the coastal protection plans in the Project Worthing scheme for developing the Aquarena site which included a lagoon to aid flood defences and provide a safe recreational area for water sports – local rowers were quite excited at the prospect.  Worthing Borough Council would have reaped the benefits in saving on the costs of coastal protection.
Project Worthing was born from the wishes expressed by residents in a petition for a permanent ice rink with 2,124 signatures presented by Mr David Mulvagh to Council on April 2nd 2009. David had been part of the team in organising the petition alongside Worthing Liberal Democrats. In addition there were three Facebook groups in support with a total of 2,117 members. David called on the Council in his speech to take quick action as the people of Worthing have been waiting for 35 years to see something good happen. On something good happening there is still little to report.
Had Project Worthing been given the go ahead we would now be building a concert arena, an ice rink and a 50 metre pool with the option of the lagoon.  Worthing would have been revitalised as a tourist attraction. How many times have we heard why doesn’t Worthing have something like the Spectrum in Guildford?  Worthing would have had and with the added attraction of a seaside town. 
That is why we urged the Conservative administration at the time to give more consideration to Project Worthing – more time to demonstrate the viability of the scheme.  But it was not to be and the scheme was rejected out of hand without a fair public hearing.  The Tories condemned the scheme as being Liberal Democrat inspired – what the residents of Worthing deserved, wished or thought was a secondary consideration.
Instead we have watched the slow progress of the new swimming pool – regularly downgraded as the funding has shrunk.  We have a 25 metre pool costing Worthing’s council tax payers around £20 million whereas Project Worthing would have provided a 50 metre Olympic pool at no cost to Worthing’s council tax payers.  All that Project Worthing asked was that they could lease the Aquarena Site – it would have remained a community asset and not be sold off to private developers as the Tories are doing now shortchanging Worthing’s children’s future.
Another 327 words of the report are devoted to Planning Policy which features the Core Strategy document adopted in April of this year following a public examination in 2010.  The Core Strategy is complimented by the Worthing Masterplan adopted in April 2006 which promised over the next 15 years (from 2006) “regeneration will transform the Town Centre and seafront to make our town a better place where people want to live, work and invest – for now and generations to come”.  So what has happened over the first five years on the Tory watch – sorry but there is little to report.
The Tories have been in control in Worthing for 43 out of the past 50 years – 43 years of little to report. 
Worthing Liberal Democrats 

Tuesday 1st November – West Sussex Tories have done a spectacular u-turn on West Sussex Youth Services spreading the cuts over four years rather than three years as required by their budget.  Cabinet Member for Children and Families Peter Evans issued a press statement yesterday (Monday) with the announcement, claiming this was not a change of direction. But a change of direction is exactly what has happened.  In the budget debate earlier this year the Tories categorically rejected the Liberal Democrat amendment to spread all cuts over four years instead of three.
Morwen Millson, Leader of West Sussex Lib Dem Group said: “The Liberal Democrats are delighted that the Cabinet Member for Young People’s Services has admitted that changes in the Youth Service may be implemented over four years and not three as agreed in the budget that the Tories forced through just a few months ago. Taking so much money out of the service over three years required enormous and extremely rapid change in the Youth Service and risked services in many areas disappearing completely. We remain concerned about the ability of the Voluntary Sector to fill the gaps in the long term, but there is much more chance of this succeeding if more time is allowed before the money is withdrawn. Back in February when the Council debated the budget for the current financial year, Liberal Democrats argued that savings should be made over four years. The Tories were adamant that they could be delivered in three, yet now the Cabinet Member admits that making the changes ‘does take time’. I hate to say that we told them so, but we did! We also argued that, as the Council had received extra funding for capital projects from the Government, the Council should spend the money on ‘new projects that would help deliver a boost to the local economy’. The Tories refused to listen and put the money in the bank.  At last month’s Council meeting a Conservative proposal to ‘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’ was agreed unanimously. The Liberal Democrats are happy to welcome the adoption of our good ideas for the benefit of the people of West Sussex.” (Bob Smytherman – Press Release)
Tuesday 1st November – Following Lib Dem pressure Worthing has now been included in the West Sussex County Council revised bid for participation in the £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund announced by the Coalition government in January. Under the title West Sussex Sustainable Travel Towns the county council bid earlier this year for £5 million for improvements to Crawley, Chichester and Horsham – no mention of Worthing. The bid failed to make the first tranche but West Sussex has been given the opportunity to make an improved bid in the second tranche. Worthing Liberal Democrats urged Worthing Borough Council to work with West Sussex to make certain Worthing is included this time and gets its fair share. The West Sussex bid is to ‘increase sustainable travel to places of work and education through a targeted package of behaviour change initiatives and infrastructure improvements’ with the primary objectives of improving local economic performance and cutting carbon generation’. We are delighted Worthing has now been included in the draft bid for the second tranche. 

Thursday 3rd November – Lib Dem West Sussex County Councillor Alan Rice manned a stand prompting Community Initiative Funding (CIF) at today’s Worthing Council for Voluntary Service AGM held in Worthing Library.  Despite the inclement weather Alan received a number of enquires for funding for small local projects.  Community Initiative Funding is available to small community groups who are unable to get funding elsehwere and any application has to be supported by the local County Councillor.  Community groups to receive support in Worthing have included this year the Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden, the Glendale Theatre Arts School and the Ivy Arch Tunnel painting project.  Any groups wishing to apply should contact their local West Sussex County Councillor direct.
 Wednesday 9th November – WSCC Community Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 9th November – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 10th November – WSCC Adults’ Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 10th November – ADC & WBC Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm

Saturday 12th November – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am

Saturday 12th November – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am 

Saturday 12th November – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am 

Monday 14th November – WSCC Standards Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm  
Tuesday 15th November – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Gordon Room Town Hall at 6.30 pm
Tuesday 15th November – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm
                                       and every third Tuesday of the month 
Wednesday 23rd November – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 23rd November – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm 
Monday 28th November – WSCC Governance Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Tuesday 29th November – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Tuesday 29th November – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Council Chamber, Adur Civic Centre at 6.30 pm
Wednesday 30th November – WSCC Strategic Environmental Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am             

Saturday 3rd December – 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 3rd December – Lib Dem Broadwater Surgery – The Community House, Dominion Road 2.00 to 4.00 pm  
                              and every first Saturday of the month
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Published and promoted by Worthing Liberal Democrats, 18 Woodlea Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BN