What’s happening with Arun District Council’s Look and Sea!

January now, not long before Spring and the early season visitors start arriving in our town. Still no official word from Arun District Council on what’s happening with the future of the Look and Sea! building. 

Importantly, will it be open and ready in time for the start of our tourist season?

Earlier this week, I saw that the remains of a New Year’s Eve celebrations from a nearby pub, still sat on the tables outside the now closed Look and Sea!

I find this unacceptable, given the level of proactive ‘council wardens’ that Arun District Council employ – from their parking wardens to their litter wardens that neither party during their frequent patrols in this area  could be bothered to inform the cleansing department at the council that the area badly needed cleaning up.

Surely it should be part of their job description to report on areas that need attention and it shouldn’t be up to local residents, business owners or visitors to tell the council that the building they own has been left in an appalling state?

I emailed senior officers at Arun District Council with some pictures and to be fair, there was an immediate response to get the place cleaned up and tidy. But, no reply to my question/observation as to why the council’s enforcement officers aren’t reporting back on things like this.

I also suggested to Arun District Council’s Chief Officer, Nigel Lynn that his senior officers should get out from behind their desks and take a more proactive approach to sorting out many of this towns easy-fix problems, this being one of them.

Let’s hope that ADC appoint a new operator and get this wonderful building with terrific harbour views open and welcoming customers back again in the near future. Let’s also hope that the council might instruct its army of enforcement officers (parking and litter) to report back to the council on whatever needs attention. You’d imagine this would happen automatically, but sadly not.

On a more positive note, thanks to Practical Boat Owner Magazine for commissioning and publishing my Visitors Guide to Littlehampton in their January 2019 Issue.

As always, thanks for reading – the Pier Road Blog is up and runnning for a new lease of life on a new server with a new domain name – pierroad.blog

As always, your comments welcome.

Paul

 

Will Littlehampton voters be encouraged to vote in May 2017 West Sussex County Council elections?

On 4th May 2017, West Sussex County Council elections will take place.

Historic voting patterns in Littlehampton for this election show declining voter numbers, begging the question, how many of us will be bothered to turn out in May to vote?

Littlehampton has two seats on West Sussex County Council with the town being divided into two separate Wards – Littlehampton Town and Littlehampton East.

Currently, Liberal Democrat Councillors Buckland and Walsh have been elected to these two seats.

Here’s how both Wards turned out in the last two West Sussex County Council elections, which took place in 2009 and 2013.

Littlehampton Town Ward –

Currently held by Councillor Ian Buckland, Liberal Democrat.

Ignoring spoiled votes, in 2009 West Sussex County Council elections, 2639 Littlehampton Town voters turned out to vote. This dropped sharply in the 2013 WSCC Elections when 2151 Littlehampton voters turned out to vote.

A drop of 488 Voters – turnout down 3.7%

Littlehampton East Ward

Currently held by Councillor James Walsh, Liberal Democrat.

A similar picture of falling voting numbers for Littlehampton East Ward where in 2009, 3384 voters turned out compared to only 2829 in the 2013 West Sussex County Council election.

A drop of 555 Voters – turnout down 5.9%

In neighbouring East Preston and Ferring, the turnout dropped a whopping great 9.3%. In fact, throughout the West Sussex County Council area, voting numbers turning out to vote are down. Chichester North seeing the biggest fall, turnout down 12.1.%

The Conservative Party continue to control West Sussex County Council which have done since 1997. However in the 2013 election their majority was cut from 13 seats to 10 seats. UKIP gained 8 seats in addition to their existing 2 seats to take over as the official opposition party from the Liberal Democrats who overall lost 11 seats.

We’ve yet to know who will be putting themselves forward for election in the West Sussex County Council elections, which will take place on 4th May 2017. However, what’s clear is we need fresh faces who can inspire and motivate, challenge and will vote in the interests of the residents they’ve been elected to serve, and not the ideals of whatever party they represent.

I’ve witnessed councillors giving impassioned speeches at various council meetings against council proposals/planning applications and then to vote for the very proposals they’ve objected to as they’ve been instructed by their political party which way to vote.

What benefit is this sort of representation to the local communities who turn out against the odds to vote for them?

Interested in becoming a County Councillor

West Sussex County Council are holding a County Council candidates event for anyone considering becoming a WSCC Councillor on Monday 27th February, 2017 at West Sussex County Council offices – 6pm to 9pm at the address below:

West Sussex County Council
County Hall
West Street
Chichester
PO19 1RQ


As always, thanks for reading, your comments always welcome. The comments section should now be open to taking your comments having previously been out of service. Again apologies to those who tried to post comments and were unable.

 

Littlehampton new swimming pool and leisure centre given the go ahead.

Great news for Littlehampton residents and visitors to our beautiful seaside town. Councillors at Arun District Council have unanimously agreed Arun District Council’s (ADC) to build a new Leisure centre including a  new 25 meter swimming pool.

Littlehampton’s new leisure centre will be located at the existing Sea Road site with the new building being built on the site of the existing Sport’s Dome, thereby allowing the existing swimming pool, gym and cafe to continue to operate during the building works.

Facilities at Littlehampton’s new Leisure Centre will include:

  • 25 metre pool
  • Learner pool with a moveable floor
  • Gym – circa 450 m2 giving up to 85 stations
  • Spinning Studio
  • Cafe
  • Multipurpose meeting room
  • Dome will be replaced with a 4 court sports hall
  • 2 flexible studios that will be able to accommodate many of the activities that take place in the existing sports dome.
  • new facility will be DDA Compliant.

New facility will not include a 50 metre swimming pool.

Some will be disappointed that the new facility does not include a 50metre swimming pool, however Arun advise that this wouldn’t be possible as the costs of constructing one would increase the project costs by an estimated £3m and the subsequent running costs would be considerably higher.

Dome users will have no facilities while works are underway

Unfortunately current users of the Dome will see this facility taken away as the new building is being built on this part of the site. Arun advise that Freedom Leisure are currently working on ways of providing alternative facilities.

Littlehampton Residents Concerns.

Some residents had worried that the new facility would be located in North Littlehampton, however Arun District Council have now decided that new facilities will be located in the existing site, which is great news for Littlehampton’s seafront.

Tree felling.

Others have worried that the new facility will require trees to be felled in Littlehampton’s Mewsbrook Park and Ruby Gardens. Although some trees will have to be felled to allow building works, Arun advise that will take place outside of the nesting season and will be kept to a minimum. They also promise to replant trees to replace those felled.

Impact on the Aqua Youth Centre

Apart from what Arun describe as some small alterations to the layout of the Aqua Youth Centre, Arun advise that this much-loved and tremendous local sailing facility will continue to operate as normal.

Building works begin in Spring 2017

Building of the new facilities is expected to begin as early as Spring 2017 and completion by April 2019.

Arun District Council are giving assurances that works will not disrupt existing leisure facility users and current car parking arrangements and access will be  maintained.

The new facility is expected to cost £15million and Arun are a little unclear as to how this will be funded. They state that funding will come from:

  1. Capital receipts
  2. Borrowing (which Arun describe as ‘prudent borrowing’.
  3. Grant from Sport England

Arun have yet to have grant funding from Sport England approved,  and it’s unclear if they’ve actually yet applied for a grant, yet this is still classified as a funding source. Somewhat worrying, as what happens if Sport England reject their grant application?

Who pays then, and more importantly, how much?

Although this is very much welcome news for Littlehampton and Arun residents, we should all keep a close eye on the project’s progress to ensure that what’s promised is actually delivered.

Once the new facility has been built, Arun advise that the old facility will be demolished and the area turned into a public space.


As always thanks for reading, your comments welcome.