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Worthing Liberal Democrats Weekly Newsletter – 30th December 2012 to 5th January 2013

by Press Officer on 7 January, 2013

Alan Rice - Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader

Alan Rice – Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader

Articles for the past week:

Leader:  A27 by-passed       

News this past week:

1. New Year Message from Nick Clegg
2. £40,000 Savings On I-Pads Not Quite What They Seem

 WORTHING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
        30TH DECEMBER 2012 TO 5TH JANUARY 2013

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:  A27 – by-passed

The Worthing to Lancing Improvement has been described as “probably the grandest scheme on the A27 never to be built”.  Four feasibility studies were carried out between 1967 and 1988 with a public enquiry for the last one held from September 1993 to August 1994. This was one of the longest public enquiries ever held with 30 tons of documents produced. In one of the first actions of Tony Blair’s new Labour government in 1997 the scheme was cancelled. Previously today’s Worthing West MP Peter Bottomley was Minister for Transport & Roads (1986-89) when improvements were again put on the back burner.  Admittedly Peter Bottomley was not a Worthing MP at the time – he represented Eltham in South London.  After a major boundary change in Eltham he decided to not re-stand there in 1997 and switched to the safer seat of Worthing West. Labour took Eltham with a majority of 10,000 plus and has held the seat ever since.

In view of the history, it is somewhat ironic that Sir Peter together with fellow Worthing MP Tim Loughton last year led a “high level delegation” from Adur, Arun and Worthing to lobby the then Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond about “the long overdue Worthing bypass”.  In the Spending Review announcement in October 2010 the review did list the A27 for improvement work – but at Chichester – with no mention of Worthing or Arundel.  A by-pass scheme for Arundel was dropped in 2003 and even Chichester is on hold.  Time and time again Lib Dem County Councillors have pressed the West Sussex Tory administration to take a more hands-on approach to improving the A27 at Worthing, Arundel and Chichester – rather than just complaining to the local MPs about the traffic congestion.  Following the latest Lib Dem call for action the Tories have at last accepted the need for the County Council to take a lead in developing improvement proposals.

With no prospect of any Government action until at least 2015 all County Councillors have now agreed there is a need to identify improvements which can be delivered in the short term.  Leading Lib Dem County Councillors Nigel Dennis and Derek Deedman are now serving on a cross party working group to consider improvements deliverable within five years.  New delivery systems and financing models will be explored including ways to generate local contributions.  At last following the Lib Dem pressure action is taking place – A27 improvements are not being by-passed.

It will be at least 50 years since the first feasibility study was instituted in 1967 until any Worthing by-pass or tunnel is anywhere near a drawing board.  Fifty years further on will see a different world and the A27 as we know it may not exist in any recognisable form.  Last week we mentioned driverless cars – another futurologist forecast is for “hover cars” supported by magnetism over superconductor highways in a similar way to maglev (magnetic levitation) trains now operating in Japan and China.  Some may say these visions are from people living in a dream world – let’s hope we are still not dreaming of a Worthing by-pass and will be by that time by-passed.

Worthing Liberal Democrats

NEWS FROM THE PAST WEEK

NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM NICK CLEGG

Tuesday 1st January – New Year Message from Nick Clegg:

“When Mo Farah approached the final stretch of the 10,000m final, who wasn’t up on their feet, screaming at the TV?

When Nicola Adams beamed at the crowd after winning the first ever women’s Olympic boxing, who didn’t smile back? I was lucky enough to be there, and that’s one I’ll never forget.

Was there anything more British than that drenched choir in the Jubilee River Pageant, singing Rule Britannia! in the pouring rain?

Incredible images. Spectacular shows. Jaw-dropping personal triumphs.
And, above all, a year defined by shared experiences and national spirit too.

As for 2013, there will be more great moments, I’m sure.
And some big challenges as well.
Many families are still feeling the squeeze.
Look at the world around us and you see continuing economic uncertainty – particularly in our European backyard.
We are living through fluid, difficult times.

What I can tell you is that, whatever 2013 throws at us…
The Liberal Democrats will continue to anchor this Coalition in the centre ground…
And we will hold firm to our key purpose in this government:
The Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy, in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life.

Over the holidays people want a break from politics as much as from work – I know that.
But as you look to the year ahead, you also deserve the reassurance that your government has a plan to steer the country onto better times – and that we’re going to stick to it.

So I want you to hear it from me, on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, that this Coalition Government is not going to lurch one way or the next.
We will stay the course on the deficit.
We will cut income tax bills and help with childcare bills.
We will invest in boosting jobs and we’ll reform welfare to get people into work.
A stronger economy.
A fairer society.
Where everyone can get on.
That’s what we’re about.
That’s what I want 2013 to be about.
And, however you usher it in, I hope you have a fantastic time…
Happy New Year.”

£40,000 SAVINGS ON I-PADS NOT QUITE WHAT THEY SEEM

Friday 4th January – Worthing Lib Dem Group Leader Alan Rice queried at the last Council meeting the expected savings from use of I-Pads or similar by Councillors.  Tory Cllr Michael Cloake, who has been advising on the change from hard copy print reports, had been quoted in the press as expecting £40,000 savings a year.  Figures obtained from Democratic Services to savings on printing and postage were significantly lower. The Democratic Services Manager reported the 2010/11 outturn for printing is £11,454.80 divided on a 60/40 basis Worthing/Adur as per the joint committee agreement gives a Worthing figure of £6,872.88. For postage the outturn is £5,996.07 – divided 60/40 the Worthing figure is £3,597.64. So roughly for Worthing a total of £10,500 and even if we include Adur totally £17,500 – less than half the predicted savings. Tory Cabinet Member for Resources Steve Waight promised Alan a written response which was received the next day from Mr Cloake.  The bulk of the expected savings £22,800 was from the loss of use by Councillors of the Members Room which is now to be hired out to community groups.  Worthing Lib Dems surmise the reasoning is use of a PC in the Members Room will no longer be necessary but that is somewhat of a tenuous link..  The Members Room certainly pre-dates the existence of PCs and the main use is for meetings between Councillors and community groups and individuals.
Alan said: “It is the usual smoke and mirrors with savings expected by the Tory administration.  I have asked the Chief Finance Officer for clarification how exactly we can save £22,800 by losing the Members Room – it seem rather an optimistic figure.”

DIARY

Wednesday 9th January – Lib Dem Northbrook/Durrington Ward Surgery – The Durrington Community Centre, New Road 7.30 to 8.30 pm
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
Saturday 12th January – Lib Dem Gaisford/Tarring Castle Wards Surgery – West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring 10.30 am to 12.00 noon

FURTHER AHEAD

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
Saturday 2nd February – 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 2nd February – Lib Dem Central Ward Surgery – Sidney Walter Centre, Sussex Road 10.30 am to 12.00 noon
and every first Saturday of the month

Printed (dispatched) by Virgin Media, Communications House, Bartley Wood Business Park, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UP
Published and promoted by Worthing Liberal Democrats, 18 Woodlea Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BN

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