In Touch with Jacky Pendleton March 2018
It’s really good to be talking to you all again about what’s going on in West Sussex in general but particularly in our small piece of the County.
Locally we have a number of things happening and here are a few of them:
A259 Cycleway from Hoe Lane to Oystercatcher
Project on course for completion in Spring 2018. However, some issues have been identified with fibre-optic cables too close to the surface which have caused a delay in the work schedule. As a result, there will be extended working hours from 12th. February with traffic signals working from 8 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays.
New Digital Hub in Bognor Regis
A new shared and collaborative workspace for creative and digital business in due to open shortly and is located at Bognor Regis Railway Station. This is part of the regeneration of Bognor Regis project and will help to create jobs, support new business and develop new employment space
Multiple Accidents on Yapton Road south of Horsemere Green Lane
There have, unfortunately, recently been a number of accidents which appear to be as a result of speeding vehicles losing control on these bends. The Police and WSCC are involved in investigations and solutions.
Secondary School education for local children
From 1st. September 2019 Felpham Community School will provide an extra 300 secondary school places up from 1358 capacity (currently roll at Sept 2017 was 1374) to 1700, an increase of 342 places. Annual admission number is currently 240 and from Sept. 2019 will be 300. The school will grow year on year until there are 300 in each year group from year 7 to Year 11. Sixth form provision remains unaltered.
Yapton Primary School
Currently 0.14 ha have been put forward for enlargement of the current school but this is deemed insufficient for the future demands that new housing will have in the area.
More generally across the County the news is:
Council Tax Rises
In order to deal with shortfalls in Local Government funding from central Government, WSCC have taken the incredibly difficult decision to take advantage of the Governments proposal for Local Authorities to have the ability to raise their precept by an additional 1%. This will mean that the council tax raise for West Sussex residents will go up to 4.95% which is the equivalent of an additional 12.6p per week for the average Band D council tax payer.
The Leader of WSCC criticised the Government for taking a short term, piecemeal approach to Local Authority funding using increased taxation of our residents at source instead of planning property funding streams into the future. The Leader called for the Government to ensure that LAs are supported by Government with a properly funded long term settlement that enables planning and preparation for the challenges into the future, with particular emphasis on a growing elderly population, child protection and adult social care.
The County Council is challenging Government to deliver a fairer funding formula for schools in West Sussex, who are currently in the lowest quartile for funding in the country.
Speed Indicator Devices
Under prescribed criteria WSCC are able to provide SID equipment for use by residents, who have volunteered for the role, to identify speeding vehicles in various locations.
WSCC owned surplus land
WSCC have identified numbers of pieces of land in our area which they have declared surplus to requirement and will be ‘selling’ them on to developers as and when the time is identified as right.
Road safety outside Primary Schools
WSCC is proposing to introduce a permanent TRO for enforceable School Keep Clear Markings prohibiting stopping 8 am to 5 pm Mon-Fri outside primary schools.
Although Defra have issued more stringent guidelines for poultry keepers across England, these standards have been in place for West Sussex for some time and West Sussex Trading standards have reiterated their advice of last year to ensure that domestic birds and wild birds do not mix, including netting runs and not putting food out for wild birds.
Investment in Drone Technology
WSCC have invested in a drone with thermal imaging to be used to benefit its work both during the day and at night. The Fire & Rescue Service will use the device to scout out locations, such as heath fires to help co-ordinate resources on the ground. There is also scope for its use across other council activities including surveying buildings, bridge inspections, community work and searching for recently missing people.
West Sussex Growth Programme in Arun
Discussions are ongoing with Arun District Council around the WSCC ‘Growth Deals’ programme, which is seeking to support Enterprise Bognor Regis and undertake key town centre & seafront developments and in Littlehampton to support town centre improvements and rationalisation of the public estate around Maltravers Road.
100 miles closed road cycling event
WSCC are in discussion with CMS Velo 100 about staging a brand new 100 mile closed road cycling event in the Horsham and Chichester Districts in September of this year starting and finishing at Goodwood Motor Circuit.
Love West Sussex
A short continued plea to all members of the public to use ‘Love West Sussex’ to report highway defects, uneven pavements, and potholes on:
Grant funding from West Sussex County Council
West Sussex County Council is proposing to change its approach to grant funding to voluntary and community groups from 2018/19.
Current arrangements for County Council grant funding to voluntary and community organisations are complex and varied.
There are currently 3 member funds:
- Members’ Big Society Fund
- Community Initiative Fund
- Small Grants Fund
Each has different criteria, different application forms, different maximum award values, different decision making processes and there is no single point of entry.
This inevitably has led to challenges of complexity, risks of duplication and lack of consistency. As we all know, money is extremely tight and in order to make some savings, a new approach is being proposed for adoption.
The proposal is to amalgamate the 3 grant pots of money into one, in order to help reduce confusion about funds and their availability. In order to do this it is proposed to adopt an online crowdfunding model where WSCC will pledge support to projects from one single funding pot, whilst encouraging others to contribute to the projects.
County Local committees consisting of local Councillors will still make the decisions about how the funds are dispersed amongst the local community and the new system will give groups the chance to gain funding and support from other people who are interested in their project.
Support for those groups that do not have internet access will be available at libraries.
Further investigation is being done into concerns already raised. If you have a view on these proposals or have any questions about them please email email@example.com or call 03302224525.
County Councillor for Clymping, Ford, Middleton on Sea, Yapton
Please get in touch with me if you want to raise any concerns or just want a chat about a local issue which is close to your heart. I look forward to hearing from you.
West Sussex County Councillor
Middleton Division (including Clymping, Ford, Middleton on Sea & Yapton)
Land line: 03302223735