by Press Officer on 30 December, 2012
Articles for the past week:
Leader: 2013 – Unlucky for some ?
News this past week:
1. £1,187,064 Christmas Presents For West Sussex Schools
WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
23RD TO 29TH DECEMBER 2012
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: 2013 – Unlucky for some ?
The world didn’t end on December 21st although it was the end of the 13th Baktun on the Mayan calendar which exacerbated the risk to those of a triskaidekaphobian tendency. This fear of the number 13 is shared today by the financial world as we approach 2013 – worried the US will fall over the fiscal cliff. Unless President Obama can sort out a deal with Congress all American tax payers will pay more tax; and spending cuts, including cuts to child and income benefit and the end to long term unemployment benefit, will take effect. The fiscal cliff is the biggest near term threat to the US economy and a failure to come to a deal could well push the US into a double dip recession. If that happens it will be unlucky for all.
We suspect the US will muddle through with a deal at the last possible moment and our economic future will look less bleak. But what does 2013 hold for the citizens of Worthing? Will the Tories give us a 2013 to look forward to? Will they make decisions in 2013 which are truly decisive in taking our town forward? The signs are not good as they have failed at the first hurdle in not even deciding whether next year’s council tax will be frozen or not. We predict they will freeze rather than have a slap on the wrist from Eric Pickles but we are sure they will protest against an unwanted slap being the reason.
The Tories will point out we can look forward to the opening of the new iconic swimming pool in April 2013 – we predict they will miss the deadline. Anything else? What about Teville Gate? Worthing Liberal Democrats have said the Council needs to take on a more hands on approach – without such an approach we shall be asking the same questions about Teville Gate this time next year. And that begs the question about the Core Strategy, the Masterplan and Regeneration in general – can we look forward to movement here? Rather than look for solutions we fear the Tories will sit on their hands for another year blaming the dire economic situation. Without new constructive action 2013 will pass us by with nothing done.
2013 will also see the final report of the Car Parking Review Group – what does the future hold here? The Tories have been reticent on their thoughts so far but we cannot see a significant reduction in car parking charges – even if the whole kit and caboodle is taken back in house. On March 1st 2012, the US state of Nevada, looking far deeper into the future, passed a law authorising driverless cars – Florida and California did so subsequently this year. Driverless cars will deposit their passengers and then park themselves somewhere else – negating the need for town centre car parks. General Motors forecasts driverless cars could be on the road by 2018 and Ford predicts the same after 2025. Perhaps the Tories should also be looking a little more long term on their planning as they appear incapable of making quick decisions. When they eventually decide to fund more car park maintenance (currently on the capital programme reserves list) will they be funding white elephants?
There are good things to look forward to in 2013 for Worthing – we have the Rock the Chamber concert in February from the Worthing Youth Council. The purpose of the concert is to encourage voting among young people and will feature five or six young Worthing bands. And in May we have a new Mayor in Bob Smytherman with his consort Norah Fisher – two Lib Dems for the price of one. May also sees the West Sussex County Council elections and we are confident the people of Worthing will recognise the hard work put in by their Lib Dem County Councillors. Those Worthing residents represented by a Lib Dem will indeed be lucky.
Worthing Liberal Democrats will recommit themselves in 2013 to do all they can to make Worthing a better place – we will do our best to ensure it us unlucky for only the few.
A Happy New Year to you all.
Worthing Liberal Democrats
NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK
£1,187,064 CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR WEST SUSSEX SCHOOLS
Sunday 24th December – Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have given schools in West Sussex a £1,187,064 Christmas present. The cash is an increase in the Pupil Premium funding, which targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition government. In West Sussex, 1,629 pupils are expected to be eligible, meaning that our schools are set to benefit from an extra £1,187,064 to support disadvantaged children. The Pupil Premium covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years. For 2013/14, the Premium will be worth £1.65bn, or £900 per pupil, in total. To see the Pupil Premium allocation for individual schools in West Sussex visit: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding/a00218077/funding-settlement-2013-14. By 2015, it will be worth a total of £2.5bn a year to schools in England.The Pupil Premium was one of four policy priorities that the Liberal Democrats put on the front page of their 2010 General Election manifesto. The others were: raising the point at which you start paying Income Tax to £10,000 to give people on low and middle incomes a £700 tax cut; creating jobs by making Britain greener; and measures to clean up politics. The Pupil Premium was one of the key measures argued for by Liberal Democrats during the Coalition negotiations.
Commenting, West Sussex Lib Dem Education spokesman County Councillor Bob Smytherman said: “Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and fair society where everyone can get ahead. To do that we need to make sure that children are not held back by poverty and disadvantage. For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are helping every child in West Sussex to reach their full potential. This money does not just help the poorest children, it helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.”
Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Schools Minister, David Laws said: “We are already seeing across the country how the Pupil Premium is making a difference to children’s lives. Extra tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parents are all examples of how the Pupil Premium is being used to support the most disadvantaged pupils and benefit all their classmates too. That’s why I’m so pleased that, next year, we’ll be extending the Pupil Premium to another half a million children, and increasing the money that schools get to £900 per pupil. This means that, as a result of Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government, more children will get a better start in life.” (Bob Smytherman – Press Release)
Saturday 5th January – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – The Strand Parade shops at 10.00 am to 11.00 am
and every first Saturday of the month
Saturday 5th January – 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 5th January – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
Saturday 12th January – Lib Dem Castle Ward Surgery – St Richards Church, Maybridge at 10.00 am to 10.30 am
Saturday 12th January – 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
Tuesday 15th January – WSCC Planning Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 16th January – WSCC Environmental and Community Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 16th January – WBC Planning Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Thursday 17th January – WSCC Children and Young People’s Services Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 17th January – ADC & WBC Joint Governance & Audit Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm
Monday 21st January – WSCC Governance Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Wedenesday 23rd January – WSCC Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 23rd January – WBC Licensing Control B – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.00 pm
Thursday 24th January – WSCC Policy amd Resources Select Committee – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Thursday 24th January – ADC & WBC Joint Strategic Committee – Council Chamber, Adur Civic Centre at 6.30 pm
Monday 28th January – WSCC Pensions Panel – County Hall, Chichester at 10.30 am
Wednesday 30th January – WSCC Worthing County Local Committee – Venue TBC at 7.00 pm
Thursday 31st January – WSCC Shadow West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board – County Hall, Chichester at 2.15 pm
Thursday 31st January – ADC & WBC Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee – Gordon Room, Town Hall at 6.30 pm
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Published and promoted by Worthing Liberal Democrats, 18 Woodlea Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BN