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West Sussex County Council approves 2019/20 budget
Friday, 01 March 2019 09:50

West Sussex County Council has approved a balanced budget for 2019/20.

The meeting of the full council debated the proposed budget before approving a net expenditure of £575.5 million to deliver key services for all the communities of West Sussex.

As part of the 2019/20 budget the council also agreed significant investments to support the delivery of the five key priority areas of the West Sussex Plan.

These include:
• £6.1 million - additional new investment in Children and Young People’s services
• £7.3 million - investment in Adults and Health.
• Additional investment - Special Support Centres to help to keep students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools with their peers and in their local area.
• £3 million - additional investment in extra care schemes to help keep older people living independently for longer.
• £44.5 million - investment in a sustainable energy programme which includes the installation of solar farms and battery storage on unused council land.
• £5 million - programme to create community hubs and protect key services by bringing them together under one roof.
• £13.8 million - investment in corporate and fire fleet vehicles and £1.8 million in specialist fire equipment to support our Fire and Rescue Service.
• £22.5 million - investment in digital infrastructure supporting businesses and rural communities.

Since 2010, the Council has saved more than £200m and in the same period, government funding has been cut by £145m. The County Council faced a challenging financial gap of £45.4m for 2019/20 alone, due to increasing demand on social care services and a continued reduction in central government funding. As a result, it identified £23.4m of savings across a number of services. The remaining amount has been found through a council tax increase of 4.99% which includes a dedicated 2% to fund adult social care. This increase means an additional £1.27 per week for the average Band D household.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said:

“Despite the difficult financial challenges we face as a county council this budget includes significant investment in a number of priority areas for the communities we are here to serve. We're making a clear commitment to continue exploring new and innovative ways to generate income and do more with the money we have.”

Jeremy Hunt, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

“This budget is balanced, robust and sustainable which supports the five key priorities in our West Sussex Plan. It is a budget that supports our residents and ensures that we continue to provide our many excellent services.”

JeremyHunt

 
£180k funding boost for West Sussex One Public Estate
Friday, 01 March 2019 09:47

Government funding of £180,000 has given an additional boost to the One Public Estate West Sussex programme, designed to transform local communities and provide better public service.

It’s on top of £640,000 already received from Government since 2017. Led by West Sussex County Council, One Public Estate (OPE) West Sussex brings together 23 public sector organisations to work together to look at how their collective assets can be used more efficiently and effectively. The ultimate aim is to improve services for residents and ensure the best value for money for taxpayers.

Partners involved include district and borough councils, organisations from across the health sector, police, ambulance and fire and rescue services.

The latest round of funding awarded will go towards feasibility/development appraisal works in the following areas:

• Burgess Hill: The Brow (joint project with Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council and others)
• Shoreham: Pond Road (led by West Sussex County Council)
• Chichester: Southern Gateway (led by Chichester District Council)
• Chichester: Northgate (led by West Sussex County Council)

Leader of the County Council Louise Goldsmith said: “I’m delighted that the OPE West Sussex programme has yet again been successful in securing revenue funding from Government to support the development of collaborative projects. This continues to demonstrate the success of the partnership and the countywide commitment across the public sector to delivering the wider benefits OPE can bring for residents, communities and services.”

The OPE programme is a joint initiative between the Cabinet Office and the Local Government Association.

The aim is to improve public services while rationalising the public estate so there is a reduction in the amount of money spent on buildings by the public sector. The programme will also help free up land for the development of housing, commercial and employment space to help support local economic growth.

goldsmith213

 
Have your say on Worthing town centre improvements
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 15:30

A quirky interactive wall and a seaside-themed public square are set to be the focus of major improvements to transform a key street in Worthing’s town centre.

The proposal to pedestrianise the busy area of Portland Road is being developed by West Sussex County Council in partnership with Worthing Borough Council through the Worthing Growth Programme.

New plans will be revealed at a public exhibition held between Monday 21 January and Friday 8 February in Worthing Library on Richmond Road. Residents are invited to come along and view the plans for the Portland Road area. They will also have the opportunity to give comments about the new designs by completing a form or an online survey by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/portlandroad

Two drop-in events will also take place in Worthing Library (24 January 12pm-5pm) and Worthing Town Hall (6 February 12pm-5pm) where local people can discuss the project with representatives from West Sussex County Council and Worthing Borough Council.

Residents, councillors and businesses have previously been consulted about improvements to Portland Road and their feedback has been used to create final designs. Once the plans have been approved, work on the area is set to begin in early 2020.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “These improvements have the potential to turn Portland Road into a vibrant destination for visitors and residents, as well as contributing to our wider ambition to regenerate the town centre.

“We made it clear from the start that the input of everyone was to be welcomed. Now the designs have been revealed I hope they can see that we not only listened but we have delivered.

“I believe what is presented are plans which are truly distinctive to Worthing as a location, creating a really special place where people of all ages can come together.”

Along with a new continental-style boulevard, the proposals include creating an interactive art installation with revolving square cubes.

This will be flanked by new planted ‘green walls’, trees and semi-vertical bike racks, all of which will make the area more attractive.

At the heart of the new area will be a place for people to gather and socialise at all times of the day.

Above the street, designers have suggested a canopy of suspended kites, which light up at night and become an eye-catching attraction in the local area.

The plans, known as public realm improvements, form part of a Growth Deal agreed by West Sussex County Council and Worthing Borough Council in 2017. The aim is to create cohesive, well designed and connected public spaces between Worthing Railway Station, the town centre and seafront.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said, “The Portland Road project kick-starts ambitious plans to completely transform Worthing town centre under the Growth Deal agreement. The eleven public realm projects form part of a £12 million plan delivered over the next five to ten years to regenerate the public spaces in the town centre.

“This really is an exciting time for Worthing, and I encourage as many people as possible to come along to the Portland Road exhibition and see the innovative designs for themselves.”

For more information about the Adur and Worthing Growth Deal visit the West Sussex County Council website.PortlandRdImprovements

 
Health and Wellbeing Board returns for first meeting of 2019
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 10:18

HealthConsultationTackling tobacco, reducing the risk of falls, as well as health and wellbeing in Mid Sussex, will all feature on the packed agenda of the next Health and Wellbeing Board this month.


The Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) brings together senior leaders and officers from the NHS, Adults and Children’s Services, District and Borough Councils, Public Health, Clinical Commissioning Groups and GPs as well as representatives from Healthwatch, the voluntary sector and elected members.

The aim of the board is to improve the health and wellbeing of West Sussex residents, reduce the health inequalities gap by improving the wellbeing of the poorest and promoting joined up working to ensure better quality of service for all.


The board convenes for its first meeting of 2019 on Thursday, 24th January at 2pm at Haywards Heath Town Council, 40 Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BA.


During the public meeting, members of the board will receive a report from Mid Sussex District Council on the work it has been doing to promote health issues within the district. 


The board will also hear about the launch across the county of a joint working tobacco control strategy. This will see the County Council work in partnership with a number of organisations to co-produce a West Sussex strategy for tobacco control, with the ambition of reducing health inequalities and yielding economic benefits. 


Members of the board will also learn about a pioneering new programme commissioned by the county council to help reduce the risk of falls. This programme, run by Sussex Community Foundation Trust, will aim to reduce some of the winter pressures facing the NHS by offering support to people at risk of suffering a fall.

There is also an opportunity for members of the public to put questions under the Public Forum item on the agenda.

 
We are Investing to Improve the A285
Thursday, 10 January 2019 10:30

Works are continuing on the A285 road safety scheme, where roadside safety edges are being built between Halnaker and Petworth. The scheme is using innovative recycling methods where road planings, soil and other materials being removed to make way for the new edges are being recycled, significantly reducing costs and environmental impact. It is estimated a total of about 8,000 tons of materials will be recycled in the A285 scheme, with very little waste needed to be taken to landfill.

Improvements also include introducing a ribbed edge line. More than half of the serious accidents on the A285 involve drivers leaving the road; the ribbed edge line will introduce an audible and tactile warning to drivers if they leave their lane – the width of which will also be made more consistent as part of the scheme. The work is concentrated in sections, focusing on 300m lengths at a time, with one or two sets of temporary traffic lights in operation for the safety of the workforce and public. Following a pause over the festive season work is due to re-start on Monday 7 January, 2019 and, subject to factors such as severe weather, is on course to be finished by April 2019. The scheme started in October, 2018, and is being funded through a £2.4million award from the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund.

A285Works

 

 
We Launch Second Solar farm
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:58

The county council has powered up its second solar farm which features the latest battery storage technology to maximise benefits.

Westhampnett solar farm near Chichester will generate enough clean electricity to power 2,400 homes for the next 25 years.

It’s a pioneering project that has been built on a closed landfill next to the A27. The large batteries are used to store surplus electricity and release it to the grid when consumer energy demand peaks.

Westhampnett solar farm forms part of the county council’s long-term energy strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy generated and consumed in the county. This will help to ensure that energy is affordable, resilient and environmentally sustainable for years to come.

Tangmere solar farm, the first site completed by the county council in 2015, already generates enough clean energy for 1,500 homes and solar panels on council buildings, including offices, schools and fire stations are producing clean energy and helping to reduce energy costs. More than 70 West Sussex schools will be generating clean solar energy by the end of this financial year.

All the county council’s renewable energy projects are designed to pay back the full cost of installation over time and deliver an income. Much of the work is delivered by Sussex companies, which benefits local jobs and growth.

Louise Goldsmith, county council Leader, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of Westhampnett solar farm. Living in the sunniest county, it makes absolute sense for us to use our natural resources and to generate clean energy that can be fed in to the local electricity grid.

“As one of the first solar farms to be built with battery storage and free from government subsidy, we are blazing a trail among local authorities and demonstrating that councils have a role to play as local leaders on energy.”

With more solar farms and battery sites planned, the county council wants to supply more ‘locally-generated’ renewable energy to households through Your Energy Sussex, its council-backed energy supplier, which offers competitively-priced electricity and gas to customers.westhampnett-solar-farm

 
Growth Deal Signed for Horsham
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:53

Key sites in Horsham and the surrounding area are set to be transformed thanks to a new deal between West Sussex County Council and Horsham District Council.

The Horsham District Growth Deal was signed by leaders of both councils and kick-starts a partnership that will deliver new homes, create jobs and boost economic prosperity in the area.

By signing the deal, Louise Goldsmith, county council Leader, and Ray Dawe, Leader of Horsham District Council, have committed to a number of shared strategic growth priorities.

Major projects outlined in the Deal include:

West of Horsham and North Horsham Developments – deliver housing and economic growth in these locations

Horsham town centre – progress the delivery of a new Town Centre Vision that will promote and sustain the town centre and maximise investment opportunities

Hurst Road – potential redevelopment of the site to deliver new housing and employment opportunities

Former Novartis site – redevelop the site to provide high value employment opportunities.

Louise Goldsmith said: “The Horsham District Growth Deal provides a real opportunity to work formally together on a range of ambitious plans for Horsham and the surrounding area. It means we can secure resources and investment to deliver much-needed improvements to local infrastructure including a new fire station and training centre.

“I know from other District Deals that collaborative working with the district council and other partners creates an environment to boost the local economy, helping both local residents and businesses to not only prosper but also to benefit from the improvements planned.

“The Horsham deal is the sixth one signed, and I am delighted to say West Sussex County Council now has deals in place with every district and borough council in the county. It puts a real focus on economic growth and development, countywide.”

Ray Dawe said: “Horsham District Council is working to increase economic growth, maintain and create new local jobs and bring continued prosperity to the district and our residents.

"The value of this District Deal is that we work in partnership with the county council to ensure we together focus strongly on agreed priority projects that will help us achieve our objectives.”

For more information please see: www.westsussex.gov.uk/horsham-growth-dealHorshamDealGraphic

 
Owners urged to fix ditches now, to avoid flooding
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 11:35

Drainage ditch owners are being urged to take action now to prevent flooding when wintry weather descends.

People with a watercourse, ditch, stream, river or culvert on or next to their land are known as ‘riparian owners’. They are responsible for maintaining the watercourses to ensure they are not a flood risk to other people or properties.

Removing vegetation, grass, weeds, shrubs and other debris helps water to run freely and prevent flooding.

Following feedback from parish councils and community groups, the county council has updated its guides to riparian ownership and responsibilities. A new leaflet, short film, posters and more detailed guidance are available online. Please see www.westsussex.gov.uk/ditchtheproblem

Roger Elkins, county council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “Keeping watercourses well maintained benefits the community as a whole. If an area experiences constant flooding, this becomes a nuisance to the community. It makes everyday living difficult and results in considerable expense and inconvenience for those that have been flooded.”

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, added: “The cost of maintaining a watercourse is minor compared to the costs that can arise from flood damage, not to mention the distress and inconvenience caused if your property is flooded.

“If you are a riparian ditch owner responsible for keeping your ditch clear, and with safety being paramount, it makes sense to do it when it’s dry.”

The council’s Operation Watershed Active Communities Fund remains open to support community groups interested in delivering capital projects to reduce the risk and impact of flooding in their area.

For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Community action case study

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, a volunteer-led wildlife charity on the Manhood Peninsula, manages ditches and ponds for people and wildlife.

Jane Reeve from the group said: “Riparian responsibility is important for the management of water to prevent flooding, which affects people’s lives and wellbeing, and for wildlife which is adversely affected by pollution and rapid water level rises.

“By gently managing ditches and waterways in the autumn, when they are dry and accessible, flood risk can be reduced.

“Leaving some vegetation on the banks is the key, allowing plant roots and some growth to hold the soil and prevent erosion. Wherever wetlands are sympathetically managed for drainage improvement, wildlife moves in and the environment is improved and can become an attractive feature.”

Safely removing rubbish and debris from ditches was a good start as this would prevent culverts getting blocked and take away material which could attract rats.

Jane added: “We carry out weekly working parties across the area and during our habitat improvement work see water voles, kingfishers and other exciting species – do join us. Please see www.mwhg.org.uk “

 
New counselling service for young people in West Sussex
Friday, 09 November 2018 11:15

Young people in West Sussex with mental health needs can now benefit from a reshaped counselling service that offers a combination of face-to-face, online and group sessions.

The blended counselling services will continue to be delivered by YMCA DownsLink Group, commissioned on behalf of West Sussex County Council and the NHS, and complement a host of online information and support.

People aged 11-18 who present with mild to moderate emotional wellbeing and mental health needs can get face-to-face counselling at various locations across the county.

Now, thanks to a new support platform called ‘e-wellbeing’, the service also offers online sessions with an experienced and qualified counsellor.

Another new development will see young people able to take part in a new group work programme, due to be available at set locations near the end of the year.

Paul Marshall, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The stresses on young people today are ever growing so it is fantastic that a wider range of counselling services now exists for them. 

“Often, teenagers need a bit of extra support to help them overcome the problems they face, so I’m delighted YMCA DownsLink Group will continue to run this service.”

Children & Young People’s Joint Commissioning Programme Manager, Lizzie Izzard said “We are delighted to continue working with YMCA Downslink Group and pleased to further develop these services for young people to be able to access support in a variety of ways.” 

Young people can also access information through Find, Get, Give - a YMCA-produced national website that supports young people, parents and carers and professionals around mental health. Visit the website at https://findgetgive.com/  

Rachel Brett, YMCA DLG Director of Children & Young People, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer an innovative blended online and face-to-face counselling service and are committed to working with our partners to ensure the young people of West Sussex receive the right support, at the right time in the right place.”

Referrals to the counselling service can be made at the county council’s Find It Out centres, self-referrals and by contacting YMCA DownsLink Group on 07739893707 or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other sources of online information about mental health for young people include:

• Find, Get, Give https://findgetgive.com/ 

• Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk/

 
Fighting Food Waste in West Sussex
Saturday, 20 October 2018 13:22

Adur DC and Worthing BC are partners with the County Council in the West Sussex Waste Partnership (WSWP), and have together launched a campaign to tackle food waste. Investigation has shown that approximately 33% of the waste in an average rubbish bin is made up of food waste. That is the equivalent of nearly 20 trucka full of food being thrown away each day across West Sussex. Most food waste is avoidable, with 41% being thrown away as it is not used in time and 25% thrown away because we cook too much. Food waste is an expensive habit for residents. The cost is about £20 per person per month, and about £70 per family of four.

The WSWP will be running the campaign until March 2019 and will promote four key themes;

ü  #FightAgainstFoodWaste

ü  Be A Smart Shopper

ü  Freeze With Ease, and

ü  Love your Leftovers

The aim is to reduce the amount of food thrown away in West Sussex. Find out more at www.wastepreventionwestsussex.co.uk

 
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Friday 01 March 2019

West Sussex County Council approves 2019/20 budget

West Sussex County Council has approved a balanced budget for 2019/20. The meeting of the full council debated the proposed…
Read More ...
Friday 01 March 2019

£180k funding boost for West Sussex One Public Estate

Government funding of £180,000 has given an additional boost to the One Public Estate West Sussex programme, designed to transform…
Read More ...
Wednesday 23 January 2019

Have your say on Worthing town centre improvements

A quirky interactive wall and a seaside-themed public square are set to be the focus of major improvements to transform…
Read More ...

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