Changes to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Agreed
Monday, 22 September 2014 18:20

Changes to the way West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will operate in the future were formally approved today (Monday) by West Sussex County Council.

The authority’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, Lionel Barnard, who has responsibility for fire and rescue, said the decision will create a fire service that is fit for the 21st century and will meet the needs of West Sussex residents now and in the future.

The proposals, which will save £1.6million , include:

  • Keeping all fire stations open, but changing the way fire engines are crewed by introducing new shift patterns and reducing the overall number of staff, including firefighters.
  • Keeping the same number of 24hr crewed immediate response fire engines, but moving one from a temporary base (Horsham) to a permanent location (Littlehampton) to replace the current day-crewed fire engine there. This would be a net reduction of one fire engine, but would upgrade crewing at Littlehampton to 24hr immediate response.
  • Removing the second fire engines at Midhurst, Petworth, and Storrington, and the third fire engine at Crawley. These are crewed by retained firefighters.
  • Broadening the prevention role of firefighters, and investing in specialist equipment and training to support communities during severe weather and widespread flooding.

Lionel said: “We have listened to everyone who contacted us with views about the proposals during the 12-week consultation, and the comments made by the Environmental Services Select Committee last week, and I’ve taken the decision that I have because the evidence is there to support it.

“The number of emergency calls the fire service receives has fallen, and the types of incident crews respond to has changed. We need to adapt our service to reflect this.

“This isn’t just about money. If we didn’t have to save a penny these changes would still be needed because this is about improving our service and building a fire service that is fit for the 21st century.”

West Sussex smokers urged to give up during October
Saturday, 20 September 2014 18:43

Smokers across West Sussex are being encouraged to take up the challenge and stamp out their smoking habit for 28 days this Stoptober.

Stoptober is the most popular stop smoking challenge in West Sussex with more than 2,000 people attempting to quit last October. Around 19 per cent of West Sussex people smoke.

Smokers are five times more likely to stay smoke free if they can give up for 28 days.

Along with the health benefits of quitting, other benefits include an average saving of £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year.

Smokefree West Sussex, the free Stop Smoking Service operating throughout West Sussex, can help people stop smoking. For example, they can give advice on doing this through group sessions, one-to-one meetings and nicotine replacement therapy.

West Sussex County Council will send out regular tweets throughout the month to give people useful tips and advice. A Smokefree West Sussex Stoptober roadshow will be making its way around the county with music, entertainment and information on quitting.

A West Sussex resident who is taking on the challenge and who will be blogging about their experience, said: “This October I will be quitting smoking for my fifth and final time. I’m confident this time will be a success as I’m not doing it on my own, I’m doing it with the help of the West Sussex Stop Smoking service, who have provided me with patches, nicotine mints, and some great advice and support. I’m looking forward to a smokefree future!”

To read the blog, visit the SmokeFree West Sussex website. The website also has lots of information on giving up smoking.

The overall cost for smoking to society in West Sussex per year is £196.8 million. Loss of output and productivity from early deaths, smoking breaks and sick days totalled an estimated £135.7 million.

Christine Field, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said: “Stopping smoking is the single most important thing that any smoker can do to improve their health. We know that it isn’t always easy, but the rewards are huge. Evidence shows that you’re more likely to be successful with the support of local stop smoking services. If you can quit for the 28 days of Stoptober you’ll begin to experience noticeable financial, physical and health benefits.”

For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, visit the SmokeFree West Sussex website or phone: 0300 1001823.

Hundreds of new school places proposed for Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex
Saturday, 20 September 2014 09:31

A major consultation into the creation of hundreds of new school places in Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex has been launched by West Sussex County Council.

The extra places are needed due to an increase in the number of children being born locally, people moving to the area and large housing developments.

The expansion of a number of existing schools is being proposed, as well as brand new schools in certain areas.

People are being asked to give their views on the plans which are set out in detail in a consultation document.

The document can be viewed via 'Have your say'.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Jeremy Hunt, said: “We have been closely monitoring the number of children in schools in these areas to make sure they can meet the demand for places. We have now received evidence that further growth in the number of children is expected.

“We are working with schools to coordinate this consultation on their behalf and I would urge people to get involved so their views can be considered.”

Public drop-in sessions have been organised for people to find out more and ask questions. They will be held on:

  • Monday 22 September – 4.00pm-7.00pm – Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue.
  • Thursday 25 September – 2.30pm-4.30pm – Warden Park Primary Academy, New England Road, Haywards Heath.
  • Tuesday 30 September – 9.30am-12 midday – County Hall North, Chart Way, Horsham.

The deadline for comments on the proposals is Tuesday 14 October 2014.

Comments will then be collated and analysed before being passed to the relevant schools. Governing bodies will make decisions about whether to go ahead with proposed expansions.

The sponsor of the new school proposed for Kilnwood Vale will be appointed by the Secretary of State for Education.

Expansions of schools in the south of the County will be subject to separate consultation.

Further Boost to West Sussex Roads
Saturday, 20 September 2014 09:24

Residents have given the thumbs-up to repairs carried out on their roads in August.

West Sussex County Council’s Better Roads Programme is targeting rural and residential roads across the county most in need of repair.

£30 million will be spent over two years to improve the quality of these roads, which is almost double what the County Council will spend on its annual road maintenance programme during that time.

Seventy-nine locations were improved and made safer by the County Council’s highways contractors during August.

The County Council received a number of emails from residents satisfied with the job done.

Neville Till, of Downsville Drive, Midhurst, was happy with the speed and efficiency of the work resurfacing his road.

He said: “The workmen were tidy and polite, the whole workforce worked hard all day, with all of the machinery driving back and forth.

“It was a pleasure to watch a well-orchestrated team move around the work site with each person in the right place at the right time.

“We now have a very good surface to our road and hopefully this will last for quite some time.”

Geoff Collett, of New Road, Southbourne, said: “For nearly 30 years I have watched council workmen coming every few months to repair the potholes in New Road and every time I say, 'Why don't they do a proper job?'

“Well, at last you have and I want to thank you for it.”

To find out if your road is due to be repaired, please view the Better Roads Programme online and type the name of your road or town into the search bar.

All dates are subject to change due to weather conditions and to allow contractor Balfour Beatty the flexibility to respond to any unforeseen circumstances.

For the most up-to-date information, check the yellow notice boards located in streets where work is due to take place.

This will tell you the exact date work is due to start.

The following roads were completed during August:

  • Queens Field East, Aldwick – resurfacing;
  • Queens Field West, Aldwick – resurfacing;
  • Parklands Avenue, Bognor Regis – resurfacing;
  • Drift Road, Pagham – repairs;
  • Vicarage Lane, East Preston - surface dressing;
  • Allengate Drive, Rustington – surface dressing;
  • Lawrence Avenue, Rustington – surface dressing;
  • Park Drive, Rustington – surface dressing;
  • Cooks Bridge Lane, Fernhurst – repairs;
  • Fernden Lane, Fernhurst – resurfacing;
  • Torbury Lane, Harting – repairs;
  • Jays Lane, Haslemere – repairs;
  • Springfarm Road, Lynchmere – micro surfacing;
  • Downsview Drive, Midhurst – resurfacing;
  • Pretoria Avenue, Midhurst – micro surfacing;
  • Hampers Green, Petworth – micro surfacing;
  • Back Lane, Treyford – surface dressing;
  • Buriton Road, Treyford – surface dressing;
  • Grevatts Lane, Treyford – surface dressing;
  • Ingrams Green Lane, Treyford – surface dressing;
  • Strettington Lane, Boxgrove – surface dressing;
  • The Broadway, Chichester – surface dressing;
  • Madgwick Lane, Chichester – surfacing;
  • Westgate, Chichester – surface dressing;
  • New Road, Southbourne – repairs;
  • Stein Road, Southbourne – surface dressing;
  • Moorhen Lane, South Harting – repairs;
  • Durleighmarsh, Rogate – repairs;
  • Aldsworth Common Road, Westbourne – repairs;
  • Birches Road, Horsham – micro surfacing;
  • Bridge Road, Rudgwick – micro surfacing;
  • Princess Margaret Road, Rudgwick – micro surfacing;    
  • Charrington Way, Broadbridge Heath – micro surfacing;
  • Farhalls Crescent, Horsham – micro surfacing;
  • Irwin Drive, Horsham – micro surfacing;
  • Manor Fields, Horsham – micro surfacing;
  • Muttons Lane, Ashington - repairs;
  • Slindon Road, Slindon – surface dressing;
  • Buckswood Drive, Crawley (Furnace Green) – micro surfacing;
  • Kingscote Hill, Crawley (Furnace Green) – micro surfacing;
  • Grattons Drive, Crawley (Pound Hill) – micro surfacing;
  • Grattons Drive, Crawley (Pound Hill) – repairs;
  • Reigate Close, Crawley (Pound Hill) – resurfacing;
  • Gresham Walk, Crawley (Tilgate) – micro surfacing;
  • Salvington Road, Crawley (Bewbush) – micro surfacing;
  • Chadwick Close, Crawley (Broadfield) – micro surfacing;
  • Binstead Close, Crawley (Ifield) – micro surfacing;
  • Birdham Close, Crawley (Ifield) – micro surfacing;
  • Climping Road, Crawley (Ifield) – micro surfacing;
  • Duncton Close, Crawley (Ifield) – micro surfacing;
  • Fairway, Crawley (Ifield) – micro surfacing;
  • Pine Close, Crawley (Langley Green) – micro surfacing;
  • Forester Road, Crawley (Southgate) – micro surfacing;
  • Long Furlong Lane, Patching – repairs;       
  • Blunts Wood Crescent, Haywards Heath – resurfacing;
  • Woodridge Close, Haywards Heath – resurfacing;
  • The Brow, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Civic Way, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Cromwell Road, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Field Close, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Firtoft Close, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • The Gattons, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Grovelands Close, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Lower Church Road, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Millwood, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Munns Drive, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Pinehurst, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Slimbridge Road, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • St Johns Road, Burgess Hill – resurfacing;
  • Keymer Road, Hassocks – resurfacing;
  • Marchants Close, Hurstpierpoint – resurfacing;
  • Broadwater, Worthing – resurfacing;
  • Browning Road, Worthing – resurfacing;
  • Kingsland Road, Worthing – resurfacing;
  • Madeira Avenue, Worthing - surface dressing;
  • The Quashetts, Worthing – resurfacing;
  • Russell Close, Worthing – resurfacing;
  • Southdownview Road, Worthing - surface dressing; and
  • Warwick Road, Worthing – resurfacing.
What are your views on Restorative Justice
Saturday, 20 September 2014 08:56

Have you experienced restorative justice - as a victim, an offender or as a professional?

What are your views?

Sussex Police and Crime Panel is asking Sussex residents to get in touch with their opinions on the approach - which brings those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, together to find a positive way forward.

The Panel is due to consider Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne's plans for restorative justice at the next meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on 10 October 2014. The Panel comprises councillors from all 15 local authorities across Sussex, plus two independent members, and carries out the role of scrutinising the actions and decisions of the Commissioner.

West Sussex County Councillor Brad Watson OBE, Panel Chairman, said: "We are very keen to hear from people who have experiences of restorative justice so that we can use these to inform our discussions at the meeting.

We want to explore whether this works and the successes that it has seen.

Please, if you've got an opinion, do get in touch with us and share it."

As always, Sussex residents can also use the meeting as an opportunity to submit written questions to both the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and the Panel on policing and crime issues.

Brad added: "The meeting is an excellent chance for members of the public to put their questions to the Commissioner or to the Panel.

"The Panel exists to scrutinise the role of the Commissioner and to ensure that she is delivering for Sussex residents.

"People can submit written questions, to which a written answer will be provided at the meeting.

"Members can then ask questions about the answer. However, questions to the Commissioner must relate to strategic issues. Operational policing matters remain firmly the responsibility of the Chief Constable."

Thousands of West Sussex children set to enjoy free school meals for the first time
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 09:25

From this week around 25,000 pupils in reception classes and years one and two will be able to enjoy school meals for the first time, free of charge.

Every infant aged child is now able to receive free healthy and nutritious meals, thanks to a government initiative which could save parents over £300 per child annually.

Schools are responsible for ordering the meals so there is no need for parents to worry.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Jeremy Hunt, said: “We’re delighted to be able to introduce these free meals for infant aged children. As well as saving parents money, having a healthy and nutritious meal can also help improve concentration in the classroom.

“The expansion of the infant and primary school meal service has also seen the creation of 250 new part-time jobs in the county, so the initiative is also having a positive effect on our local economy.”

Although parents don’t need to do anything for their children to receive the meals, they are being urged to take a few moments to check if they can unlock extra funding for their child’s school.

Consultation on Parking for Crawley
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 14:30

About 2,400 households and businesses affected by parking arrangements in Pound Hill and Three Bridges, Crawley, are being asked to take part in a public consultation.

West Sussex County Council is carrying out a parking review of the area.

Their response to the questionnaire will help determine if, and what, changes may be needed.

A deadline of Monday 22 September 2014 has been set for responses.

Parking arrangements in the town have been monitored by the County Council and Crawley Borough Council in recent months.

Feedback from residents indicated some areas outside existing parking schemes have suffered from congestion and access difficulties.

Car parking by commuters, town centre workers, shoppers and visitors has become commonplace in residential roads, affecting the traffic and road safety.

Suggestions have been made that the boundaries of residents’ parking schemes, in Pound Hill and Three Bridges, should be changed.

East Crawley’s County Local Committee Chairman, Richard Burrett 9Consrvative) said:  “We are asking people for their views on the parking arrangements in their street and whether they would like any changes to be made.

“This is an informal consultation to test the water, and we would like to stress that no changes will be made at this stage of the process.

“The consultation will establish whether it is worth investing time and money in preparing more detailed proposals and carrying out a further, more extensive consultation on any proposed changes.”

All comments will be reported to members of the East Crawley County Local Committee later this year.

If a decision is made to prepare any initial proposals, there will be at least two further consultation exercises before a final decision is made.

Learn more about Road Safety in Horsham
Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00

People with worries about road safety in rural parts of Horsham have a chance to discuss them next week.

A community safety road show is visiting Henfield, Steyning, Storrington, Billingshurst and Pulborough to meet residents face to face.

Neighbourhood police, fire and safety officers, and road safety experts will be on hand to chat about issues bothering people.

Distractions while driving, drink and drugs, road safety around schools, and using buses are issues the experts are happy to discuss.

County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “This is a good opportunity for people who have anything bothering them about road safety to have a chat about it.

“Whether it be concerns about your children driving safely, a particular location you feel is dangerous, or anything else, come and speak to the experts.

“Plenty of advice and expertise will be available on the stands each day, so we invite everybody to make the most of it.

“If we can’t help on the day, we can make sure the issue is passed on to someone who can.”   

The road shows take place between 10.00am and 2.00pm at:

  • Monday 1 September 2014 – Henfield Hall off Coopers Way, Henfield;
  • Tuesday 2 September 2014 – High Street Car Park, Steyning;
  • Wednesday 3 September 2014 – Place Villarest (junction of High Street and Old Mill Drive), Storrington;
  • Thursday 4 September 2014 – Billingshurst Library car park, Billingshurst; and
  • Friday 5 September 2014 – Pulborough, Tesco Car Park.

The road shows have been co-ordinated by West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire and Rescue, Sussex Police and Horsham District Council.

Apply now for "Be the Business" grants
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00

“Apply now and let us help you unlock the potential in your business”. That’s the message from the Leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith as the deadline for the latest round of ‘Be the Business’ funding approaches.

Businesses can apply for a share of the £600,000 fund, which is designed to help support the local economy and create jobs by offering grants of up to £25,000 to small and medium sized local businesses.

To qualify for a grant, applicants must be located in West Sussex and, if applicable, be paying business rates there. Alternatively they could be about to start up a company in, or be planning relocation to, West Sussex.

The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Monday 15 September 2014.

Louise said: “So far we have had a great response from local businesses keen to tap into the help and support available from the County Council, but we want to hear from more before the application deadline.

“A wide range of businesses from across the county have already applied to the fund, both established organisations and new initiatives looking to start up in West Sussex. However I’m sure there are many others out there who are looking for that extra boost to help them take the next step in their business.

“We know that local businesses need better access to finance and support in order to develop and grow. ‘Be the Business’ is designed to help address those issues and the more we can do to help create the conditions that allow businesses to prosper in the county, the better it is for everyone.”

Full details of how to apply to the fund are available at Be the Business.

A decision on which applications have been successful is expected in November.

"Think Family" project in West Sussex is one of the best in the UK
Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:29

A West Sussex scheme that helps families change their lives for the better has been highlighted as one of the best of its kind in the country.

The West Sussex Think Family Partnership, led by West Sussex County Council, is the local version of the Government’s Troubled Families initiative and works with families most in need of help and support. 

The Partnership works by assigning a dedicated worker to engage with a whole family on all of its problems, such as ensuring that children attend school, parents get back to work, addressing anti-social behaviour and generally helping families to turn their lives around.  It includes a range of organisations and people, including district and borough councils, police, schools, health as well as volunteers from the community.

Overall, Think Family has turned the lives around of 774 families in West Sussex so far. The scheme was also recently singled out as being the top in the country for supporting families back into work, so far helping 389 people back into employment.

Phase Two of the programme, which is due to come into effect in 2015, will see the West Sussex Think Family Partnership work with even more families to help them overcome complex problems. The Government has singled out the West Sussex Partnership to take on the role of an 'Early Starter', which means it will work with a further 600 West Sussex families before the national programme rolls out in April 2015.

Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Start of Life – Children, said: “This is really great news and something we are incredibly proud of.

“We’re working with partners to change lives for the better. Our success shows that investing early to support those families who need help and support the most really does work.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said: “It is excellent news that West Sussex Think Family Partnership is to receive more funding in order to continue their intervention work with vulnerable families and those individuals in most need.

“The Partnership deserves credit for taking up the challenge of the Government’s Troubled Families scheme and the initiative in West Sussex has shown promising results so far.

“By providing the right intervention and support this programme gives hope and opportunity to the families involved.”


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