Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 31st March to 13th April 2012

Articles for the past two weeks:

Leader: The County Set

News this past two weeks:

1. New Chief Executive For Adur & Worthing
2. Hazel Thorpe Calls On Council To Save Up To £200 From Worthing Families Energy Bills
3. IT Disaster Details Kept Secret
4. Local Lib Dems Support Worthing’s Fishermen
5. Teville Gate Up For Sale


      • Lib Dems will keep County services local where ever possible
      • Lib Dems will devolve more money to be spent locally and allow local 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: The County Set


Nominations for the County elections at noon on Friday April 5th and Worthing Liberal Democrats as usual are fielding a full set of candidates for the nine divisions.

The candidates to put your cross against on May 2nd are as follows:

                        Broadwater                    –    Alan Rice              (re-standing)
                        Cissbury                        –   Victoria Taylor
                        Durrington & Salvington   –   Michael Donin
                        Goring                           –    Neil Campbell
                        Northbrook                     –   Robin Rogers         (re-standing)
                        Tarring                           –   Bob Smytherman   (re-standing)
                        Worthing East                –   Christine Brown  
                        Worthing Pier                 –   Hazel Thorpe
                        Worthing West               –   Yvonne Leonard
Neil Campbell is also standing in the Worthing Borough Council Goring ward by-election called by the resignation of Steve Waight also on May 2nd.
Long serving Lib Dem County Councillor Irene Richards for Worthing East is retiring this year and hence not re-standing.  We thank Irene for the sterling effort she has put in on behalf of East Worthing residents over the years and wish her a long and happy retirement.
And what are the Liberal Democrat candidates standing for?
West Sussex Lib Dem Group Leader Morwen Millson sums up neatly as follows:

“If the Liberal Democrats are elected to run West Sussex County Council on 2nd May, we are determined to improve services, particularly maintenance of the county’s roads, pavements and cycle ways, but also to help the many vulnerable people in the county, whose services have been cut in the last few years.

We know that we can’t turn the clock back and reinstate the services that have been lost, but we believe more can be done to get the maximum value from what we have and from working more closely with local voluntary organisations.

Our top priorities: –

Liberal Democrats will invest in the county’s roads and pavements, helping to reduce injuries to pedestrians and damage to vehicles.

We will fund major projects imaginatively – using new fund-raising powers to support growth and create the new jobs that are needed in the county.

A Liberal Democrat Council will cut waste – by smarter joint working with other councils, and forming partnerships with Sussex police, the local NHS and voluntary groups.

Too many decisions that could be made by local communities are made by the Tory Cabinet in Chichester, with little input from people affected. Lib Dems will give power back to local people and let them decide what is best for them.

Money has been shovelled into reserves.  A Lib Dem council will use some of the reserves to reduce the impact of recent cuts  – to support vulnerable adults, to support young people and to restore vital bus routes.

We supported the Council Tax freeze and will continue to keep Council Tax at a low level, taking advantage of any Government initiatives to do this.              

Worthing Liberal Democrats



Wednesday 9th April – Alex Bailey, currently Head of Fundraising Strategy at NSPCC, is recommended for appointment as the new Chief Executive of Adur and Worthing Councils.  Mr Bailey was formerly Director of Strategy and Governance at Brighton & Hove City Council.  The appointment must be approved by the full councils – Worthing on Tuesday April 16th and Adur on Thursday April 18th. Alex takes up the post on September 1st after the current Chief Executive Peter Latham retires at the end of August. 38 people applied for the £103k job, the cost of which is shared equally between each council. A rigorous recruitment process took place over the course of the last two weeks with interviews for the final three taking place on Monday April 8th. Candidates went through various skills tests, including psychometric testing, case studies, and presentations.  Both council leaders, Adur’s Neil Parkin and Worthing’s Paul Yallop were part of the selection panel.  The recruitment process was managed by SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives).The role of the new Chief Executive is charged with facilitating even closer working between the two authorities and building on the opportunities to streamline and enhance partnership working.  One key element of the role is making sure a community focus is high on the agenda. The new Chief Executive will oversee 1,100 staff, report to two council leaders – Adur and Worthing – with 29 and 37 councillors respectively, and serve a combined population of over 170,000.

Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice said: “We welcome Alex to Worthing and look forward to working with him in promoting and improving our town.  There is a lot of work to be done and we will be rolling up our sleeves alongside Alex.  We wish Alex every success in his new role.”



Wednesday 9th April – Local Lib Dem Councillor Hazel Thorpe is calling on Worthing Borough Council to back a plan which could save up to £200 from an average Worthing family’s energy bill. The call comes as many households have faced a 7% hike in energy costs during the winter from the Big 6 companies. Experts say bills could even double due to latest cold spell. The plan works by local people joining a collective purchase scheme organised by the local council to buy energy collectively. Buying in bulk will enable customers to get cheaper rates. Similar schemes in Councils up and down the country, from South Lakeland, Eastleigh, and Oldham to Cornwall have been able to secure savings averaging £100 – £230 per year as a result. The scheme was launched by Lib Dem Energy Minister Ed Davey last year and already 91 Councils of all parties are following their lead.
Hazel Thorpe said: “I’ve asked residents what they think. They think it is a great idea. This is a much needed sensible plan to push down rocketing energy bills and give back control of family budgets to residents. It’s time for Worthing Borough to help hard pressed families save money on their energy bills so that they don’t have to choose between eating and keeping warm.”
(Bob Smytherman Press Release)


Thursday 10th April – Tonight’s Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee received two reports on the IT disaster in November last year which brought down Worthing Borough Council’s e-mails, internal calendars and theatre & leisure booking facilities.  The first report was in the public agenda but the second from outside auditors Deloittes was on “pink papers” and not in the public domain.  Although the committee were able to discuss the Deloittes’ report this was done behind closed doors with both public and press excluded. The public report said the IT infrastructure began to degrade and fail in November 2012, finally shutting down. The Council IT system suffered an unexpected double whammy when two identical network switches failed and on trying to recover those switches the system would not restart. Measures are being taken to mitigate any future IT failures.

Lib Dem Leader Alan Rice said: “The IT failure was indeed a disaster and Worthing residents suffered as a result.  Just for example – bookings could not be made for the theatre or the Fit 4 gym. I fail to see why the internal audit report from Deloittes which details the problems is not available to the public and the residents who suffered.  I call on the Council to release the document.


Friday 11th April – Worthing Liberal Democrats will push for a fairer allocation of quota for Worthing’s in-shore fishermen on Tuesday (April 16th) with a motion to Full Council. The motion notes the historic economy of Worthing was primarily based on mackerel fishing and TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s successful “Fish Fight” campaign to end the practice of discards of fish across the EU. It further notes Worthing’s Seafront Fish Market and its importance to the local economy and local employment. Liberal Democrats believe that Worthing’s small fishing fleet with under-ten metre fishing boats are being sidelined by the UK government who allocate the majority of fishing quota to larger organisations. The motion seeks to address that situation. The motion calls on the Council to write to Richard Benyon MP, the fisheries minister, pressing him to re-evaluate the way quotas are allocated, to the benefit of Worthing’s in-shore fishermen.
Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice said: “Worthing’s fishermen are a valued feature of our seafront and their livelihood deserves our best protection. Worthing Lib Dems seek to preserve their livelihood with this motion and preserve the good local food source they provide.”  (Bob Smytherman – Press Release)


TEVILLE GATE UP FOR SALE                

Saturday 13th April – Confusion reigned this week over whether the Teville Gate site is up for sale or not.  For about two weeks the site has been advertised for sale on well-respected commercial property estate Savills’ website. The Worthing Herald reported the fact and developers Hanson Capital Management put out a denial.  Today the Argus reports Savills had made an error, have taken the advertisement down and the employee involved has been moved.  So what is the truth?  Worthing’s residents deserve to know and Lib Dem Cllr Norah Fisher will ask that very question at next Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Norah said: “Curiouser and curiouser.  The only thing Worthing’s residents can be certain of is there is no certainty.  Worthing Lib Dems wrote earlier this year to Hanson inviting them to a meeting to discuss Teville Gate but we received a refusal.  It is about time the Council took matters into their own hands.  How many more years must Worthing’s residents wait?”


Tuesday 16th April – WBC Full Council – Council Chamber, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 3rd April – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – The Durrington Community Centre, New Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 18th April – WSCC Health and Wellbeing Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Saturday 20th April – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards Church, Maybridge at 10.00 am to 10.30 am
Saturday 20th April – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Parade shops at 10.00 am to 11.00 am
Saturday 20th April – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
Wednesday 24th April – WSCC Pensions Panel – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 2nd May – County County Elections
Saturday 4th May – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
and every first Saturday of the month
Saturday 4th May – Lib Dem Broadwater Ward Surgery – Muldoons Coffee Shop, Cricketers Parade, Broadwater 3.00 to 4.00 pm
                             and every first Saturday of the month
Saturday 11th May – Lib Dem Selden Ward Surgery – Jason’s Cafe, Ham Road at 10.00 am to 11.00 am
                              and every second Saturday of the month
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