Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 9th to 15th October 2011

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Tackling child poverty   
News this past week:
1. Waves Ahead Celebrates Success 
2. Tackling Child Poverty in West Sussex Report Released  
3. Liberal Democrats Announce Extra Money For West Sussex Schools – Dr Colin Wilsdon
4. West Sussex Tories Ignore Tourism In Their Own Motion To Support the Local Economy 

  •    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:  Tackling child poverty


Judith Wright Joint Director of Public Health and Wellbeing for West Sussex released this week her Annual Health Report for 2011 – this year entitled “Tackling Child Poverty”.  The report is the West Sussex response to the 2010 Child Poverty Act which enshrines in legislation the government’s commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020.  

The Child Poverty Act uses four indicators to define child poverty:
  • relative low income- whether children live in households whose income is 60% or below the national median for the financial year, after adjusting for household size. The national target is less than 10% by 2020.
  • combined low income and material deprivation- a combination measure of children in low income households and found to be materially deprived. For example, whether a child has somewhere outside to play, can swim once a month, can go on a school trip once a term.  The national target is less than 5% by 2020.
  • absolute low income- which measures median income compared to a fixed baseline year (base year for the Act refers to April 2010).  The national target is less than 5% by 2020.
  • persistent low income – low income persisting for three out of the four last years.  The national target is to be finalised once data are available.          
Only the first indicator “relative low income” is available on a county level – for a couple with two children aged 5 and 14 the national median income after housing costs is £577 per week which gives a 60% of median figure of £346 per week.
Worthing is not immune from pockets of child poverty and they are highlighted by dividing the town into what are designated “lower layer super output areas” (LSOAs). A LSOA has a minimum population of 1000 and a mean of 1500. There are three LSOAs in Worthing where the levels of child poverty are above 33% or one in three children as measured by relative low income  – one each in Northbrook (39.9%), Broadwater (39.7%) and Central (36.4%).
Child poverty in Worthing was falling as we entered 2008 but latest statistics show a rise from mid 2008 after the financial crisis hit.  National projections forward to 2013 show a further expected rise. These children are more likely to have health problems – more likely to be obese, more likely to suffer from anaemia, diabetes, asthma, cancer, lead-poisoning, neuro-developmental problems, mental health problems and poor dental health. Tragically they are more likely to die younger.  They are more likely to leave school earlier and are around six times more likely to leave without qualifications and thus more likely to become unemployed.  Most will not become involved in crime but they are more likely to be the victims of crime.
How should Worthing tackle child poverty?  As in many aspects of life prevention is better than cure  – it is well recognised now that early intervention is better than reacting with crisis intervention.  Worthing Borough Council working with West Sussex County Council, the NHS, schools, police, business and voluntary groups must ensure that necessary early intervention happens. These partners are the elements of  Worthing’s Local Strategic Partnership “Waves Ahead” which celebrated its success during the year at their Annual Conference on Thursday night. Let’s build on that success and move up a gear to eliminate child poverty in Worthing by 2020. 
For the sake of these children we must not fail. 
Worthing Liberal Democrats 
Thursday 13th October – Waves Ahead Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) held its Annual Conference tonight in the Assembly Hall’s Richmond Room to celebrate its success during the year. The LSP’s objective is to bring together public, private voluntary and community organisations to work together and with each other and the community to deliver a shared vision of place where people want to work. Successes during the year included the opening of the “We Cycle Too” traffic-free cycle track at Brooklands Park offering cycling opportunities for people with disabilities; the Worthing Garden Share project together with Transition Town Worthing to help people “grow their own” and help older people having difficulty managing their gardens; and the Dreamscheme together with the West Durrington Phoenix Club through which young people from families on low income or benefits give back to the community through activities like street clean ups.
Friday 14th October – The West Sussex Annual Public Health Report 2011 entitled “Tackling Child Poverty in West Sussex 2011-14” was presented to the County Council meeting today. With a forward by Louise Goldsmith and an introduction by Judith Wright Joint Director of Public Health and Wellbeing the report focuses on tackling childhood poverty. West Sussex County Council has a requirement to provide a “Child Poverty Needs Assessment and Strategy” and Worthing Borough Council, Primary Care Trusts and the Police have a statutory duty to co-operate. This report provides that needs assessment and framework for West Sussex. 
The document will be available on the following websites: and

Friday 14th October – Liberal Democrat County Councillors have welcomed the announcement of a £4,263,000 pupil premium for West Sussex schools. The original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have been boosted by £100m, meaning that every school in West Sussex will now get nearly £500 for every child on Free School Meals. The money is to be used by schools to increase attainment of deprived pupils. Many schools in West Sussex are already making plans to use the money to improve the life chances of pupils from deprived backgrounds. News of the extra money comes after, Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister; Sarah Teather recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. Thanks to Liberal Democrats in Government, it will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.
Dr Colin Wilsdon, Lib Dem Spokesman for Children and Young People said: “I welcome the increased funding for schools that Lib Dem influence within the Coalition is bringing.  Not only has Sarah Teather doubled the Pupil Premium funding for 2012/13 but, because of lower numbers of children on Free School Meals than expected funding has increased for this year from £430 to £488 per eligible pupil.  For West Sussex this means much needed additional funds.  Times are tough for our schools but the Pupil Premium means that extra money is being focussed on our most needy children. It is shocking that, nationally, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GSCEs than their more well-off classmates. That is why Liberal Democrats nationally have ensured that there is extra money to finally reverse this worrying trend that was allowed to continue under the previous government. Locally we have been working to ensure that West Sussex pupils benefit as much as possible from this extra money by driving up the number of pupils registered for the premium, and we would encourage any parents of eligible children to sign up for free school meals to get more money for their child’s school in the next round of pupil premium. We now look forward to working with our schools to help overcome the barriers to achievement that some of the pupils in our community currently face.”  (Bob Smytherman Press Release) 
Tories vote down a Lib Dem proposal to put Tourism at heart of Economic Development agenda for the County.
Saturday 15th October –  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.”  (Bob Smytherman Press Release)
Monday 17th October – WSCC Community Services Select Committee at 10.30 am
Tuesday 18th October – WSCC Cabinet – County Hall at 10.30 am
Tuesday 18th October – WSCC Rights of Way Committee – County Hall at 2.15 pm  
Tuesday 18th October – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm
                                       and every third Tuesday of the month 
Wednesday 19th October – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 20th October – WSCC Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee – County Hall at 10.30 am
Saturday 22nd October – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am


Saturday 22nd October – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am

Wednesday 19th October – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee at 10.30 am
Wednesday 19th October – WBC Licensing and Control Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 26th October – WBC Development Control Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Thursday 27th October – WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm 
Saturday 5th November – 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 5th November – 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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