Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 11th to 17th September 2011

Worthing Lib Dem group leader

Articles for the past week:
Leader:  Signed, sealed and delivered?
News this past week:

Worthing Liberal Democrats Welcome New Neighbourhood Watch Website
West Sussex Liberal Democrats Highlight Impact Of Tory Cuts On Disabled People In the County

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter 11th to 17th September 2011

  • 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.
  • Lib Dems support 20 mph in Worthing’s residential roads

Leader:  Signed, sealed and delivered?

Morgan Sindall’s website announced this month (Sept 6th) they had started work on a £10 million Air Traffic Control Tower – their latest piece of news as at today (Sunday Sept 18th). In August they were appointed to a £3 billion contract constructing West Midlands framework; a £750 million joint rail venture with Colas; a £150 million South Lanarkshire schools framework programme; a £1 billion Hull City schools programme and a re-appointment to the Improvement and Efficiency South East (iESE) framework for public works. No mention of Worthing in September, August, July or indeed this year.

If you search the site for Worthing the only project that appears is a church extension for Emmanuel United Reformed Church with a new green roof.  The entry is dated September 6th but no year is mentioned – we believe it was 2010. But it is Morgan Sindall that is the appointed contractor for the “iconic” new swimming pool or so we are led to believe from Worthing Borough Council’s website and press releases – so why are Morgan Sindall so coy?

Perhaps there is a clue from the ‘Constructor Enquirer’ website which said in July:

Morgan Sindall dives in early to £18 million Worthing swimming pool.  Morgan Sindall has started enabling works on Worthing’s planned £18m swimming pool, despite failing to agree a formal contract with the council. The contractor has been pressing to get on site to make up lost time in the project, which was expected to get underway in April. Progress with construction has been hindered by council advice not to proceed until a formal contract has been agreed.

So is the missing announcement because there is still no formal contract agreed?  We will put the question to Worthing Borough’s legal officer this week and perhaps have better news for you next week. In the meantime the February 2013 opening date hoped for by Leader of the Council, Paul Yallop seems to be slip, slip, sliding away. Perhaps the Leader is not that bothered as there is no election that year – only one to County Council.

We will also remind the legal officer of the Decision of the Cabinet made on March 23rd in response to the officers’ report ‘Provision of a New Swimming Complex’ :

Decision the Cabinet

  1. Agreed to the release of £30,945 of specified S106 monies as detailed in paragraph 5.2 of the report.
  2.  Noted that an application seeking a £30,000 contribution from the ASA towards the cost of water polo provision had been submitted. (The figure had already built into the project estimates so if unsuccessful there would be no consequence to the design or specification).
  3. Agreed to the project moving forward at a maximum contract cost of £17,900,000 as detailed in the report and as above.
  4.  Agreed to the Council’s legal officers issuing a letter of intent to Morgan Sindall, provided all terms of the JCT contract, other than price, are agreed, to enable them to commence site enabling works.
  5.  Agreed to there being a £600,000 contingency provided to cover unforeseen eventualities as the project progresses.
  6.  Agreed to the Chief Executive being granted delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet, to award the contract, providing that the final figure, excluding the ‘invest to saves’ and the contingency, is below the £17,900,000 in (iii) above and subject to the Aquarena and other potential disposal sites being actively marketed and external assurance that the value of the sites should be at least £8,000,000.
  7.  Recommend to full Council.
  8. That Council agree the additional £1,500,000 spend on the swimming pool.

We trust all those conditions have been met, especially clause 6., before the contract is signed, sealed and delivered. Worthing Liberal Democrats

NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK

WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WELCOME NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH WEBSITE

Thursday 8th September – Worthing Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the new Neighbourhood Watch website www.westdownsnhw.co.uk to keep residents from across West Sussex informed about criminal activity in their Neighbourhood; the site was created by a retired police officer from the Horsham area Rob Pine. Rob was not satisfied with the existing local Neighbourhood Watch websites and scoured the internet to come up with a new and vibrant alternative. The ground breaking new website will benefit both the police and residents of West Sussex alike and in its North Sussex trial area has already proved a tremendous success attracting several times more hits than previous Neighbourhood Watch sites. The amalgamation of all police areas of West Sussex on the 1st April prompted the launch of the new website to cover the enlarged West Downs area. Visitors to the site can enjoy videos of a bungled attempt at petrol bombing a pub in Crawley but more seriously the police can publish videos and images of suspects who they would like the public to identify.  Residents can also link through Facebook and Twitter – local police officers, journalists and politicians are already followers.

Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator and Tarring Councillor Bob Smytherman said:

Rob has taken the initiative to do something positive and I am delighted that Worthing Liberal Democrats are able to give him their full support. I will be doing my bit as website editor for the Worthing area.
(Bob Smytherman – Press Release)

WEST SUSSEX LIBERAL DEMOCRATS HIGHLIGHT IMPACT OF TORY CUTS ON DISABLED PEOPLE IN THE COUNTY

Tuesday 13th September – West Sussex Lib Dem Spokesman for Adult Services, Councillor Bob Smytherman has highlighted the impact of Tory cuts to disabled people’s services at West Sussex County Council. The comments come on the back of an in-depth report carried out by the disability charity Scope in conjunction with the Demos think tank, which has looked at the impact that cuts are having on a council-by-council basis across England and Wales. The findings of ‘Coping with the cuts – Can local authorities protect disabled people’s services?’ can be viewed online via an interactive map, which gives details about how disability services have been protected in every local authority in England and Wales. The map can be found at www.demos.co.uk/disability-cuts-map. The impact of changes to adult social care will be assessed by the Adults’ Services Select Committee this month on Thursday September 22, at 10.30am, at County Hall, Chichester. Earlier this year the Tories decided to no longer provide for moderate level adult social care needs, but for substantial and critical levels only. The Committee will be discussing the impact of the changes, and will also receive a report on the prevention and wellbeing implementation programme.

Welcoming the report, Councillor Bob Smytherman said:

I know that difficult decisions have to be made by local authorities across the country when it comes to setting budgets.  However, there are some remarkable cases where creative solutions have meant that the impact on disabled people has been mitigated. I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure that our services for disabled people are protected as far as possible.

Scope’s Chief Executive, Richard Hawkes said:

For months now disabled people have felt that they are being disproportionately affected by budget cuts and this research reveals the true reality of the lives of thousands of disabled families across the country as they begin to feel the effect of local budget cuts. We are calling on councils to put disabled people and their families at the centre of decisions that affect their lives. We know that every council has to make cuts and there is no simple way to protect front-line services. However it’s clear that some councils are taking creative steps to attempt to reduce the negative impact of budget cuts on disabled constituents and its right to commend those councils for taking the initiative to do so. This research also exposes a potential risk in the government’s localism agenda. Whilst some councils will always seek to innovate and protect the interests of their constituents, others will choose the easier option. The government must make sure that disabled people are protected through its localism agenda otherwise it can no longer claim that those with the broadest shoulders are carrying the greatest burden.

West Sussex Lib Dem Deputy Group leader Dr James Walsh added:

Earlier this year Liberal Democrats proposed an amendment to the current budget which would have delayed the implementation of some of the cuts, which, we believe, would have given more time to find better ways of delivering services. We were extremely concerned that the loss of some services were not properly understood and our fear that very vulnerable people would be left without reasonable support has be bourne out in Scopes findings. We are very disappointed that every single Conservative councillor voted the budget cuts through which has resulted in deep cuts in care for older people and people with learning difficulties.“Since 2000, West Sussex Conservatives have presided over a ‘borrowing binge’, racking up a massive £430 million of debt (including £58 million related to Public Finance Initiatives) in just 11 years. Yet they queued up to lecture the Liberal Democrats on profligacy, saying that the Council had to learn to live within its means. Despite the widely publicised condemnation of the levels of council reserves by the Secretary of State responsible for local government, West Sussex Conservatives also chose to add to their already substantial reserves. These stood at a very prudent £26m on 31st March 2010, but rather than using some of the money, as expected by Eric Pickles, they doubled them to some £50m by 2011/12, vastly increasing our debt for the future and pouring money into reserves seems more important to the Tories than maintaining front line services to the most vulnerable in the County.
(Bob Smytherman- Press Release)

DIARY

Monday 19th September – WBC Standards Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 20th September – Lib Dem Durrington Surgery – New Life Church, Durrington 7.00 to 8.00 pm (and every third Tuesday of the month)
Wednesday 21st September – WSCC Strategic Environmental Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 21st September – WBC Development Control Sub-Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Wednesday 21st September – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Thursday 22nd September – WSCC Adults’ Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Saturday 24th September – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am
Saturday 24th September – Fairtrade Fair – Guildbourne Centre 11.00 am to 3.00 pm

FURTHER AHEAD

Monday 26th September – WSCC Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Monday 26th September – WBC Licensing and Control Committee B – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Tuesday 27th September – WBC & ADC Joint Strategic Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm
Tuesday 27th September – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 28th September – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 29th September – WSCC Policy and Resources Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am

Thursday 29th September – WBC & ADC Joint Governance and Audit Committee – Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Shoreham at 6.30 pm
Saturday 1st October – 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 1st October – 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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