NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 16:27

The Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) is the NHS-England led programme that is seeking to make the local health and social care economy more sustainable in the light of the significant financial challenges facing the sector. It is estimated that within this financial year there is anround £120M of pressure within the Sussex and East Surrey health and social care system that needs to be managed. On 21st October a plan to rebalance the system will be submitted to NHS England. This will set out how the system will mitigate the financial risks but also how the system needs to adapt to keep pace with demographic challenges. Two "locality" plans are also being developed, the first focuses on the area covered by Coastal WEst Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CWSCCG) and the second footprint covers the Brighton Surrey and Sussex Hospital Trusts. The second footprint is not co-terminus with the County Council boundary and covers four upper tier local authorities and five CCGs. The County Council has a duty to plan and deliver services based on West Sussex boundaries.


West Sussex Cycle Forum Summit
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 15:39

The Cabinet Member attended the Cycle Forum Cycle Summit. The aims of the summit were to give key decision makers and designers the opportunity to learn about and discuss the latest thinking and developments around cycling. Presentations detailed matters such as the latest evidence on the economic benefits of cycling, overcoming barriers and examples of where the growth in cycling has been successfully promoted. The GOvernment's new appraoch to cycling and Local Cycling and Walking Plans was highlighted. This included how authorities can plan for cycling and new developments, as well as giving examples of the new best designs. Presenters demonstrated tools, applications and methods used to assess and plan where cycling infrastructure might best be provided. The event, alongside the new West Sussex Cycling and Walking Strategy, will prove beneficial in helping the country develop its approach to cycling in coming years.

Watershed to help allotment flooding puzzle affecting homes
Sunday, 23 October 2016 19:44

Operation Watershed is getting to the root of a 100-year old flooding problem at a Worthing allotment affecting nearby homes.

Chesswood Farm allotments, in Pages Lane, have suffered for decades with flooding during winter.

A combination of river flooding (from the nearby Teville Stream), high tides, poor sub-soil, groundwater, and surface water flooding has prevented large areas of the site from being used.

The derelict plots then become a magnet for fly-tipping.

The issue affects about 50 neighbouring residential properties at risk from flooding.

Now, with help from West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed fund, allotment holders are fighting back.

A £7,682 grant has paid for willow coppices and orchards to be planted in the wasteland by allotment volunteers.

By planting these sorts of trees, the aim is to soak up the water and dry the land out.

It will help manage the flow of the River Teville , as it runs underground downstream from the nearby industrial estate, and protect the residential houses close-by.

Worthing Allotment Management’s Secretary, Paul Eustice, said: “We are creating a long run of coppice using willow, hazel, alder and chesnut, and three orchard areas.

“Willow is like blotting paper and it can thrive in boggy areas.

“We can use the coppiced trees to grow our stock and make hurdles for fencing. Other local groups can use the products for weaving classes and we can offer free cuttings to houses around the allotment as well.”

Paul explained flooding issues affecting the allotment were first recorded back in 1919.

He said: “The main problem is the sub soil is really weird. Water gets to a certain point and then it stops draining away.

“You cannot drain it off, there is nowhere for it to go. It just gathers.

“It has made a lot of the plots unusable.

“Two areas the size of football pitches got so wet that people end up giving up on them. They are full of thistles and weeds.

“You cannot allow that to happen because if people see an area turning into a wasteland it quickly becomes a dumping ground.

“That is why we will put bulbs on there, so it looks managed and changes people’s attitudes to the area.”

Paul said Worthing Allotments Management turned to Operation Watershed for help because it was quick and easy.

In return for the grant allotment volunteers will manage the project, supply labour and continue to maintain the site.

Paul said: “This needed doing and it needed doing now.

“We considered applying for National Lottery funding, but that is more complex process and we are looking at other schemes for this.

“Operation Watershed fitted the bill.”


Local County Council Member, Roger Oakley (Conservative, East Worthing) said "This is a terrific example of how the County Council can work with the local community to solve a problem. I have been very happy to help."


County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “This is another example of how Operation Watershed can help a volunteer group who are motivated to deal with a flooding problem.

“We agree this scheme will protect nearby properties, improve the drainage here and prevent land being wasted.

“This will encourage the allotment community to work closer together on flooding issues and help protect homes and businesses close by.”


Apprenticeship Jobs Fair Returns to Worthing
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 15:25

The fair will be an opportunity for job seekers, businesses and residents to find out about apprenticeships and the opportunities they provide.


With more than 250 vacancies for apprentices in West Sussex, is it hoped people will be inspired at an Apprenticeship Jobs Fair coming to Worthing.

Now in its second year, the Apprenticeship Jobs Fair will be held at Worthing Town Hall, entry via Stoke Abbott Road, on Thursday 20 October from 2pm to 4pm.

An apprenticeship provides an opportunity to earn while you learn gaining job specific skills, experience and qualifications.

Subjects range from social care to hair and beauty, estate agency to web development, dog grooming to marketing and everything in between.

Stephen Hillier, County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “Back in March, we held the county’s first ever graduation ceremony for apprentices and it was such a momentous occasion. Nearly everyone who attended had an inspirational story to tell as they had used their apprenticeships to develop and move forward with their career.

“More than 400 people have recently completed Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships in West Sussex and I hope this number will continue to grow. There are lots of businesses, here in West Sussex, who are committed to employing apprentices and I thank them for all that they do.

“The young people in our county have an incredibly diverse range of talents and I hope that many look to apprenticeships as the start of a bright and exciting future.”


Bryan Turner (County Councillor, Broadwater, Worthing and Executive Member for Regeneration at Worthing Borough Council) said "Apprenticeships offer a great way to take your first steps into the workforce and to launch your career. We have highly rated training organisations in Worthing and throughout West Sussex that will ensure your time in an apprenticeship is time well spent"


Photograph: Bryan Turner CC


New Cycle Route from Littlehampton to Bognor on its way
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 15:15


The shortest route to cycle between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton is coming soon.

West Sussex County Council is creating a shared cycle path along the A259 to entice people out of their cars, away from congestion, and onto their bikes.

The cycle path, shared between cyclists and pedestrians, will be about three metres wide.

It will start at the Hoe Lane roundabout in Flansham and end at the Clymping roundabout (near Clymping Cricket Club).

It links up with Felpham Relief Road in the west and the existing shared cycle path from Clymping to Littlehampton in the east.

The County Council will add new pedestrian crossings to the A259 at Bilsham Road (B2132), Yapton Road (B2233), and Church Lane.

The project costs about £1.4m and is joint-funded by the County Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

Construction is expected to start in early 2017 and last for between four and six months.

County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “This new cycle path will be the fastest and most direct way to cycle from A to B.

“The route will be safe, spacious and easy to ride.

“Littlehampton and Bognor Regis are growing and we want this new infrastructure to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes.”

Ecological works will start this week along the route.

It follows a survey which concluded the proposed cycle route would not harm wildlife habitats or species.

A licensed contractor will be clearing overgrown vegetation with a mower.

A qualified ecologist will migrate reptiles and Great Crested Newts away from the site.

Temporary traffic lights on the A259 will be outside the Oystercatcher Pub in Yapton, on Monday, October 10, for two days.

Some disruption is expected at this location during this time.

The ecological work is set to take three weeks to complete, weather permitting.

See the video of the route

New Crossing to keep Bolney Residents and Drivers Safe
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 15:00

Pedestrians and motorists in Bolney village can look forward to a safer journey along the A272 from now on.

A new pedestrian crossing was opened this week by West Sussex County Council and Bolney Parish Council.

The crossing connects the north and south of the village and will make it much easier for people to cross the busy road safely.

The A272 Cowfold Road was resurfaced as part of the project and five new lighting columns were put in.

The scheme cost £100,000.

County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “This new scheme will make it safer for residents crossing such a busy road.

“The pedestrian crossing will slow motorists and is an improvement the community living here has been crying out for.”

County Council’s Member for Hurstpierpoint and Bolney, Peter Griffiths, said: “This is a great example of a community and council working together.

“It has been nine years in the making.

It will prevent a large number of road traffic accidents for people driving through this area, and it is the only crossing for the only shop in the village. It has been a long time coming and is going to make a huge difference to the village.

It will join the southern side of the parish with the northern side.We have had issues with road accidents in the past.

So having a pedestrian crossing here will make it easier for the people who live south of the village to cross the road and get to school, or catch a bus.“It will join the village together."


Patient Transport Worries to be debated at Health Select Committee
Friday, 23 September 2016 00:00

Ongoing concerns about the hospital patient transport service for Sussex will be discussed at a meeting next week.

West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee (HASC) is asking for assurances that steps are being taken to make sure the service is stable and able to provide the required level of service to residents.

The committee has raised concerns over a number of months about the service, which has been run by Coperforma since April.

Bryan Turner, HASC Chairman, said: “The hospital patient transport service is an important service to residents and we want to hear assurances that any issues are being addressed.”

Also on the agenda for the meeting are changes to stroke services in the central Sussex area and proposed changes to how adult social care is delivered by West Sussex County Council including the introduction of a number of ‘innovation sites’.

The select committee takes place at 10.30am on Thursday 29 September at County Hall in Chichester.


Photograph: Health Select Committee Chairman, Bryan Turner CC (Broadwater, Worthing)


Louise Goldsmith warns of ‘perfect storm’ brewing in West Sussex schools
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 00:00

The Conservative Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith, has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, to plead for urgent government support to address issues which have ‘built up over years of under-funding’.

The letter has been prompted by delays to the implementation of a new National Funding Formula for schools, something which local headteachers and the County Council have been calling for.

Louise said: “As things stand, central government policy is placing councils like West Sussex in a truly untenable position of presiding over real cuts to school budgets, to the long term detriment of our children and their educational outcomes.

“I have written to the Secretary of State to say we urgently need support to resolve a number of funding issues caused by a range of policy changes and made worse by this recent delay.”

The County Council is in the process of preparing budget estimates for 2017/18 and beyond. Prior to the current year, the County Council had not increased its Council Tax since 2010/11, saving the average Band D taxpayer £523. During this time the County Council sought to maintain frontline services whilst taking out £162m in savings.

Louise added: “Despite our focus on cost efficiency and savings, the budget pressures for 2017/18 mean that in order to continue protecting essential frontline services, we are being forced to consider passing unfunded cost burdens on to our schools.

“We have absolutely no capacity to absorb the cuts to the Education Support Grant (up to £5.7m by 2018/19) or new costs such as the Apprenticeship Levy (£1.7m).
“I know that headteachers have expressed their bitter disappointment and frustration at the delay in the implementation of the National Funding Formula, particularly as schools and academies in West Sussex are the fifth lowest funded nationally.”

National average funding per pupil in England is £4,636. In West Sussex funding per pupil is £4,198, which is £438 per pupil below the national average. If West Sussex schools were funded at this level our schools would receive an additional £44.7million per annum.

Louise continued: “We had anticipated the possibility of increased funding arising from the proposed national funding formula from April 2017. The delay in introducing the new formula is extremely disappointing because yet again school funding is cash frozen in 2017/18.

“The government has urged schools to achieve efficiencies but such action has already been taken by schools in West Sussex to cover the new cost burdens arising from increases to teacher pensions and national insurance in 2016/17.

“Our schools cannot absorb more pressure on their budgets, which are already underfunded, through further efficiency measures – they have already squeezed their budgets to the limit.
“We are listening carefully to the concerns of headteachers about possible actions that they may need to consider if there is no increase in funding.”

Headteachers have said that, in the context of budget pressures and continuing significant difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers, options they may have to consider include:

• Providing a reduced curriculum;
• Increasing class sizes;
• Reviewing school opening hours;
• Reducing school enrichment activities such as trips, visits and work experience, and before and after school activities.

Louise said: “I want to ensure that the voice of headteachers is heard and will do all I can to try to secure additional funding to ease the current pressures they are facing. Ultimately, the lack of funding could impact on our children and as a County Council we want to do all we can to give children the best start in life.

“I have asked the Secretary of State to allocate transitional funding to support West Sussex schools to meet cost pressures until a new fairer funding formula can be introduced.”

Signal improvements at key Worthing junction
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:00

Motorists can expect more reliable traffic signals at an important junction in Worthing.

West Sussex County Council is replacing the existing traffic signals at the junction of Ham Road and Lyndhurst Road.

The signals' condition has deteriorated and the lights are starting to fail.

The replacement signals will feature the latest LED technology.

They are cheaper to maintain and save energy.

The County Council is also adding an extra pedestrian crossing across Ham Road.

It means there will be controlled pedestrian crossings at all four points of the junction.

Work starts on Monday, September 26 and will last for four weeks.

Temporary signals will be in operation while the work takes place.

Traffic will move slower during this time and queues are likely at all approaches to the junction.

Motorists should seek alternative routes, particularly during peak periods.

Roger Oakley CC, Member for Worthing East, said: "New signals here will be good news for road users in the long term. 

"The equipment there now is becoming obsolete and is starting to fail. 

"Replacing them will improve their reliability and cut down on time spent maintaining them."

Work will take place during daylight hours.

The scheme will cost about £75,000.

LEP Apppoints Enterprise Co-ordinator
Monday, 25 July 2016 17:37

The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been awarded funding for an Enterprise Co-ordinator for the LEP area. The Co-ordinator will support school and college leaders to develop better links with local business.

The Co-ordinator will recruit and induct a network of Enterprise Advisers to work on a 1:1 basis with education establishments, continue professional development for teachers and develop curriculum materials to engage young people with the world of work and local businesses.

In partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and the County Council, work is initially focused on 20 schools, academies, colleges, special schools and pupil referral units.It is intended that the programme will roll out to other schools and colleges across the county in the academic year 2016/17.


Richard Burrett (Cabinet Member for EDucation and Skills) said "This a really important appointmen as it will improve the level of advice and guidance available for young people in education, and will help them to make the right choices about work."



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