WSCC – MIDDLETON DIVISION
County Councillor Report for Ford Parish Council March 2018.
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.
Th 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.
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 supporting the CMS Velo 100 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.
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
Love West Sussex
Continued plea to all councillors and members of the public to use’ Love West Sussex’ web site to report highways defects, uneven pavements, and potholes on:
Identification of a champion for Rights of Way generally in the Ford area would be an advantage so that we can run a local group to support go maintenance and supply of local pathways