Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 25th to 1st October 2011

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  Busy doing nothing    

News this past week:
1. West Sussex County Council Accounts Late Again
2. Europe Says 20’s Plenty Where People Live
3. Worthing Borough Council Fails To Report Risks To Members  
4. Thumbs Up For New Recycling Money, Thums Down For Whitehall Control
  •    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:  Busy doing nothing

OK so it was ten to four on a Friday afternoon and some builders are infamous for taking an early leave before the weekend but do they usually take the piling equipment with them?   The above picture is from the Worthing Borough Council’s webcam and was captured three days after the “official” launch by Leader of the Council Paul Yallop on Tuesday when start on the works for the new pool was announced.  Doesn’t look like the height of activity – in fact they appear busy doing nothing.

Two weeks ago we wondered why the new pool was not featured on constructors Morgan Sindall’s website – as at this morning (Sunday 2nd October) there is still no mention of the iconic pool that we can find.  So has the contract still not been finalised?  We still do not have an unequivocal answer. 

It’s not just lack of activity at the pool site that concerns us but the general lack of activity in regeneration at Worthing Borough Council (WBC) – a common complaint on the doorsteps is that “nothing has happened over the past thirty years”. Yet the current Tory administration is proud of its achievements on the regeneration front.

Worthing’s regeneration is anchored in the 20 year Masterplan – quoting WBC’s website:    

“A Masterplan provides the foundation for positive change in Worthing and is the driver for regeneration. The Masterplan was formally adopted by the Borough Council in December 2006 and was prepared by Consultants EDAW in conjunction with a wide range of partner organisations and extensive community input. It provides a cohesive and robust framework for private and public investors which identifies a range of clear, inter-related projects and sites for development, including an action plan to implement the proposals.
The Masterplan has subsequently been strengthened by the development of a number of detailed strategies and development briefs including the Seafront & Public Realm Strategies and Retail Core Development Brief.
Our vision for an Active Beach Zone is starting to take shape with a range of recent projects now successfully completed, including:
  • Splash Point Regeneration Scheme
  • Sand Courts just behind Coast Café
  • Artists Studios next to Coast Café
  • Splash Point Mini Golf
  • Cycle Hire facility in converted seafront shelter
  • Mobile refreshments at the Waterwise Playground”
Five years on, when placing these perceived achievements against the still to take place Teville Gate, Guildbourne Centre/Union Place and Grafton area redevelopments the achievements are not that great for a community of 100,000 inhabitants.
What is necessary is regeneration to attract businesses to come to Worthing creating sorely needed jobs; to attract shops to come to Worthing to improve our neglected retail areas and to attract visitors to a seafront and town centre where the experience will bring them back time and time again.
We challenge the Tories to provide that regeneration – if they are not up to that challenge let them step aside and we will get on with job.
We will get busy and busy doing something – not busy doing nothing.   
Worthing Liberal Democrats 

Monday 26th September – The District Auditor was not pleased at today’s Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee to report auditable accounts for West Sussex County Council were not available by the national deadline of 30th June 2011. They were received on 26th July – earlier versions were rejected as they contained material errors and inconsistencies. Due to the lateness the start of the audit was delayed until late August causing increased pressure on the finance and audit staff and risked failing to complete the audit by the planned deadline of 30th September 2011.  This is the second time in three years that the accounts have been late and in 2009 resulted in West Sussex being put on a “naughty list” by central government – this looks like happening again.

Wedenesday 28th September – This week the European Parliament adopted a key slower road speeds resolution. It “strongly recommends the responsible authorities introduce speed limits of 30 km/h in all residential areas and on single-lane roads in urban areas which have no separate cycle lanes.”  The EU Parliament recommendation to introduce speeds of 30km/h (18.6 mph) is a crucial endorsement of Britain’s 20’s Plenty for Us campaign.  This top level call for action is in forceful terms – a strong recommendation as evidence for 20mph as a life-saving and better quality of life measure is so compelling. Earlier this year Rod King, Founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, visited Brussels to lobby the EU Transport Committee on the invitation of Keith Taylor MEP for the South of England.  That a Committee, and subsequently Full Council, of MEPs conclude that drivers need to be made to take their foot off the gas is a massive boost to the campaign.  This enshrines road danger reduction as a prevention strategy for better public health for all Europeans.   It confirmed 30km/h (in Britain 20 mph) as the correct default speed limit where people live across EU member states. This resolution is part of a range of measures to halve Europe’s 31,000 annual road fatalities by 2020.  Research has shown that casualties fall by 25% when 50 km/h roads become 30 km/h. In Portsmouth casualties fell 22% when roads went from 30 to 20mph.
A celebratory Rod King said :- ”This is the EU parliament endorsing what many UK local authorities are already doing. We now have local communities, local government, national government and the EU all saying that 20’s Plenty where people live. This is a tribute to communities and campaigners across the UK who are changing the way we share our roads to be fairer for all. Now we need to end the postcode lottery of danger and amenity outside our houses. We urge all local authorities to adopt this life enhancing initiative.”  (20’s Plenty for Us Press Release) 
Thursday 29th September – At today’s Joint Governance and Audit Committee the District Auditor reminded the committee she recommended last year that risks should be regularly reported to members. The District Auditor advised that although officers agreed to do this it has not been implemented this year. Worthing Liberal Democrats as opposition members have long felt that risks have not been reported to them by the Tory administration and that probably they keep their own backbenchers in the dark but the District Auditor has shown the problem goes deeper.
Alan Rice, Worthing Borough Lib Dem Group Leader, said: “It is unacceptable that members do not know the risks the Council is taking and even more unacceptable that residents do not know. Luckily we manage to prize out many of these issues but what does concern us is what we don’t know.”   

Friday 30th September – Liberal Democrat local government leaders welcome Eric Pickles’ announcement of £250 million new money for waste collection and recycling, but criticise the strings attached that make weekly bin collection a requirement. 
Keith House, LGA Lib Dem Spokesperson on the Environment said:- “It’s good news that the coalition government is providing new money to councils for the vital front-line services of bin collection and recycling. Hard pressed councils will be pleased to receive positive news amidst the general picture of severe reductions in spending. However, there is more than a whiff of old fashioned ‘Whitehall knows best’ in Eric Pickles’ dictat that only councils that provide weekly bin collection will be eligible for the new money”. 
Dorothy Thornhill, Deputy Leader (Political) LGA Lib Dem Group said: “Eric Pickles has revealed his true colours as an extreme centraliser. His statement flies in the face of the coalition government’s commitment to localism. It appears that local services must be provided according to Eric Pickles’ demands. Arrangements for bin collection and recycling should be determined by local people according to local preferences, not by an increasingly bossy Secretary of State”.  (Local Government Association Lib Dem Group Press Release)
Wednesday 5th October – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – “The North Star”, Littlehampton Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
Tuesday 4th October – WBC Council Meeting – Council Chamber at 6.00 pm
Saturday 8th October – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards, Collingwood Road, Goring 10.00 to 10.30 am


Saturday 8th October – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 to 11.30 am

Friday 14th October – WSCC County Council – County Hall at 10.30 am
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 – 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
Thursday 20th October – WSCC Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee – County Hall at 10.30 am
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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