Billingshurst - Free Drop In Sessions for Business
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 00:00

From budding entrepreneurs to established owners, the West Sussex business community are being invited to a drop-in Business Information Session in Billingshurst.

Staff from West Sussex Libraries’ Business Information Service will be at Billingshurst Library, Mill Lane, RH14 9JZ, between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday 20 January, demonstrating some of the services that West Sussex County Council offers local businesses.

Whether you are thinking of starting a business or looking to expand, they will supply the information you need to help you along your way.  

You’ll be able to find out how the council’s use of specialist databases (some of which are updated daily), printed resources and research systems provides a comprehensive and confidential service covering:
• Business start-up guidance
• Mailing lists
• Company information and reports
• News reports
• Guidance to sources of information
(Some of these services may require a small charge).

The drop-in session is free to attend and for more information, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/bis or call 0330 222 4744

County Councillor meets with Worthing FC to Discuss Crowd Management Issues
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 00:00

Worthing WSCC Member Bryan Turner (Broadwater, Conservative) is helping Worthing Football Club handle growing attendances watching games.

The ‘Rebels’ are flying high in the Isthmian League Division One South, attracting bigger crowds to their Woodside Road ground.

The U-18s 0-3 home defeat to Middlesbrough FC in the FA Youth Cup saw 1,154 fans attend earlier this month.

These numbers are having a knock-on effect with congestion and parking near the ground.

Another high attendance is expected at 12pm on Sunday, December 27 for a charity match.

The County Council is advising the club on a travel plan to cope with home and away fans, directing visitors to more appropriate local parking.

Local residents living near the club are advised to consider kick-off times when going out in their cars.

Bryan said: “We are pleased with the recent success at the football club and welcome the constructive attitude the club has shown towards the needs of local residents.

“It is an unfortunate side effect of success that some issues can arise.

“I would like to reassure members of the public we will do our best to continue to work with the club to minimise any inconvenience.”


A259 Improvements Move Closer
Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00

A major scheme to ease congestion, shorten journey times and boost the local economy along the A259 between Littlehampton and Goring is under starters orders.

West Sussex County Council will shortly submit a business case for dual carriageway along key sections of the A259.

It is being sent to the Coast2Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, which subject to approval will jointly fund the scheme.

The proposed improvements will support new employment space, new jobs and new housing for the Arun district in coming years.

Once built, residents will experience fewer queues and shorter journey times.

Motorists will know with greater certainty how long it will take to get them to get through the A259 each day.

 County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said: “This scheme will ease the strain on the A259 today and take the pressure of extra housing and a growing economy tomorrow.

“There will be less congestion, less fumes and less queuing.

“It will shave significant time off people’s journeys, make the road safer and encourage people to travel safely by bike.”

The proposed construction will be split into phases, subject to funding.

 Phase 1:

Fitzalan Link Road roundabout* to Body Shop roundabout:

  • Dual carriageway in both directions.
  • Speed limits stays at 40mph.
  • Alterations to the Body Shop roundabout, including wider approaches and improved road markings.
  • New pedestrian/cycle path built south of the A259, separated from the road.
  • Toucan crossing for cyclists and pedestrians moved from (west of) Body Shop roundabout to (east of) Fitzalan Link Road roundabout.
  • Right turn into Oliver Acre closed.

*Will be built as part of the Lyminster bypass project in 2017.

Station Road roundabout to A280 roundabout:

  • Dual carriageway in both directions.
  • Speed limit stays at 50mph.
  • Alterations to both roundabouts, including wider approaches and improved road markings.
  • New pedestrian/cycle path built south of the A259, separated from the road.
  • Widened toucan crossing, between Station Road roundabout and Roundstone Road, for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Removal of pedestrian crossing west of Roundstone roundabout.

Estimated cost: £14.8m

Timeframe: Construction predicted to start in late 2017 for 18 months.

Phases 2 & 3:

Bridge Road (Tesco) roundabout:

  • Larger roundabout, including wider approaches and improved road markings.
  • Junction improvements.
  • New pedestrian/cycle path that connects with Arun River Bridge cycle route and the local retail area.

Goring Crossways:

  • New roundabout and road layout.
  • Dual carriageway westbound only.
  • New pedestrian/cycle path built south of the A259, separated from the road.

Cost: Estimated between £4m-£9m.

Timeframe: Not yet known. It will start once local development is in place.

 A six-week public consultation about the proposals and design will take place between January 8 and February 19.

In addition, four drop-in events take place in January for residents to ask questions and comment on the plans:

  • Saturday, January 23 (10am-1pm): Village Memorial Hall, Rustington Parish Council, 34 Woodlands Avenue, Rustington, BN16 3HB.
  • Tuesday, January 26 (10am-1pm): New Millennium Chamber, The Manor House, Littlehampton Town Council, Littlehampton, BN17 5EW.
  • Wednesday, January 27 (1-4pm): Village Memorial Hall, Rustington Parish Council, 34 Woodlands Avenue, Rustington, BN16 3HB.
  • Thursday, January 28 (5-8pm): King Suite, Angmering Village Hall, Station Road, Angmering, BN16 4HL.A259
New West Sussex Solar Farm Goes Live
Saturday, 10 October 2015 17:45

The first council-owned solar farm in Sussex has today (Thursday 8 October) started generating clean, low-carbon electricity for the National Grid.

The 5MWp solar farm, which is located on 25 acres of West Sussex County Council land east of Tangmere Airfield near Chichester, will generate enough energy to power 1,500 homes.

From today electricity produced by the solar panels will be sold back into the National Grid, earning £13.8 million over 20 years through the Government’s feed-in-tariff scheme.

The project has cost £5.2 million and will pay for itself in less than ten years.

West Sussex County Council is setting up a power purchase agreement to use some of the electricity to power its corporate buildings, which will reduce the council’s energy bills.

The solar farm is a key part of the council’s commitment to making West Sussex a more sustainable place in which to live and work. It forms part of a wider programme to install solar panels on business premises and social housing to provide low-cost, low-carbon electricity to tenants.

The project has been developed by Your Energy Sussex, the West Sussex-led council partnership working with Carillion to reduce carbon emissions, save money and boost the local economy.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “I am delighted to see Tangmere solar farm up and running. This is a great example of local authorities taking a lead on innovative, sustainable developments that make economic sense and benefit our residents.

“I’m also delighted to see that Your Energy Sussex and Carillion have used a number of local companies to prepare the site and build the solar farm, which has benefited the local economy.”

Michael Brown, County Council Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We want to use the income from this type of scheme to fund energy efficiency projects for our residents, particularly those on low and fixed incomes, and help them to stay warm and healthy in their homes.”

Stephen Hodgson, project director at Carillion said: “Successfully completing this first project marks the start of a 20-year programme of work. The build has gone extremely well and we have had excellent support from our main contractors, Solarcentury and Arun Construction.

“Working together we have been able to add a new lease of life to a site with an illustrious wartime past giving it a sustainable peaceful future whilst providing the local community with clean energy.”

The solar farm is on unused council land that is unsuitable for agriculture and has been designed to blend into its natural setting. Your Energy Sussex has worked with the county ecologist throughout the project and a number of improvements have been made to protect trees and hedgerows and help native species to thrive. This has included the installation of bat boxes and animal nesting sites. Sheep will also graze between the solar panels, helping with site maintenance once the solar farm is operational.

Planning permission for the solar farm has been granted for 25 years, after which time the site will be returned to its natural state.


The Big Bang Fair – Bringing science and engineering to life for young people
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:00
On 30 June the Cabinet Member and Chairman attended
The Big Bang Fair South
at the South of England Showground.
The annual
is part of the
Big Bang Programme
led by
, which celebrates
achievements in
science, technology, engineer
ing and maths (STEM) for
in the UK.
The Fair was
organised by
iversity of Brighton
and enables young people to discover
opportunities and careers close to
Since work in the South East began in 2012 there was been an increase
in the number of young people in the region studying STEM subjects to A
Approximately 7,
young people from the South East attended
with West
Sussex Schools such as
Oriel High School
(including Young Scientist of the Year
Award), Sackville School and Hurstpierpoint College,
winning awards
County Council sponsored the award for
, which was won by
Windsor Girls School for ‘Eco
friendly classroom’
County Council welcomes 14 July start date for A27 Chichester public consultation
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 00:00

West Sussex County Council welcomed today’s announcement by Highways England the public consultation on improvements to the A27 at Chichester will start on 14 July.

John O’Brien, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “We’ve fought hard for this public engagement so we welcome Highways England’s announcement.

“The consultation into improvements to the A27 at Chichester starts on 14 July and will last 10 weeks instead of the six weeks initially proposed.

“This is the opportunity that we and our residents, businesses and communities have been waiting for to study the different improvement options put forward by Highways England and to make their views heard.

“Highways England will hold 14 public exhibition sessions over the 10 weeks and there are several ways the public can have their say.

“You can speak to the Highways England team in person during any of the public exhibition date and you can express your views online.”

John added:  “We have been fighting for investment in this vital trunk road in our county for years.

“The County Council will now consider all the details before submitting our comments to Highways England for consideration.

“We urge everybody affected by these proposals to get involved over the next 10 weeks and share their views with Highways England.”


West Sussex Leads the Call for More Devolved Powers
Sunday, 14 June 2015 19:40

West Sussex, East Sussex and Surrey County Councils will join forces to lead the call for greater powers and freedoms to be devolved to the South East.

All three council leaders have signed a letter that has been sent this week to Greg Clark - Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government -  in which they call for a meeting to discuss how to progress plans.

In their letter, the leaders describe their determination to deliver better services for local residents, communities and businesses being at the heart of their proposals.

They write: “Together we can ensure that the right decisions are made in the right places to guarantee that the current contribution to our nation’s success and finances is not only continued but also expanded to the full potential it can reach. Our three counties are special places with a strong sense of identity and place. They are achieving the delicate and fundamental challenge of balancing strong growth and preserving a beautiful environment. However, their ability to sustain that crucial balance needs us all to work differently.”

The three authorities have identified a list of ‘devolution offers’ to manage the impact of economic growth like pressures on school places, road and rail infrastructure, housing and social care. To tackle those things the Councils seek access to more of the taxes that are raised locally, the ability to influence road and rail infrastructure decisions, additional powers over apprenticeships and skills to promote employment and support small businesses as well as new ways of supporting services that provide care to the elderly and vulnerable. They believe that doing these things across a larger area will make a real difference.

Other partners, especially district and borough councils, would also have a crucial role to play in a successful devolution process with the potential to reshape many services at a local level as the region takes on greater autonomy.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “Our region plays a critical role in the UK’s economy and we must nurture that. I’m excited to be taking forward our proposals with my colleagues from East Sussex and Surrey County Councils and I know we will all be working closely with our respective district and borough councils who will be key to making this a success.

“I do think devolution is the future for local Government. It is as exciting as it is challenging. But it will allow us to deal with those difficult issues so much better if we have greater powers and freedoms. Such opportunities do not happen often in local government but if and when they do we should embrace them for the benefit of those we serve.”

Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “We want decisions about how services are delivered made closer to the people affected by those decisions. With more autonomy we believe we can help to grow the local economy and encourage greater investment in our county and our region.”

David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Our residents and businesses are at the heart of our plans and only through collaborating and working as one team – using the local expertise we possess – can we be certain to make the services people rely upon fit for the future.”

Major Road Repair Project in Next Two Weeks
Friday, 12 June 2015 00:00

Nine roads in need of major repairs in West Sussex are to be closed for resurfacing overnight in the next two weeks.

West Sussex County Council’s contractor Balfour Beatty will be laying improved and quieter road surfaces at the following (subject to weather conditions):

  • Monday, June 15 – Tuesday, June 16 (one night): West Street, Billingshurst, between Billingshurst High Street/Alicks Hill roundabout and Forge House;
  • Tuesday, June 16 – Friday, June 19 (four nights): Grinstead Lane, Lancing, between the railway bridge and Yew Tree Close;
  • Wednesday, June 17 – Friday, June 19 (three nights): Church Street, Vicarage Lane and Church Lane, Steyning, between Steyning High Street and Station Road;
  • Wednesday, June 24 – Thursday, June 25 (one night): Penstone Park and Mulberry Close, Lancing, between North Road and Mulberry Close;
  •  Thursday, June 25 – Friday, June 26 (one night): Grinstead Avenue, Lancing, between North Road and Grinstead Lane; and
  •  Friday, June 26 – Saturday, June 27 (one night): Upper Shoreham Road, Shoreham, between New Barn Road and the junction with Hammy Lane.

All works will take place between 8pm and 6am – except Mulberry Close, Lancing, which will start at 6pm.

To minimise disruption, noisy operations are intended to be finished by 11pm.

In total the work will cost £314,000

Small Charity Week Supported by West Sussex
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 00:00

The vital work of small charities is celebrated this month in Small Charity Week.

Set up by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) in 2010, this year Small Charity Week runs from Monday 15 June 2015 to Saturday 20 June 2015.

Each day of the week has a different focus, but all aim to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector in the UK.

Leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith said: “Small charities make a huge difference to vulnerable people across the UK, often working to an extremely tight budget. Their work really is essential to so many and they perform a vital role within communities which isn’t always recognised.

“Small charities rely heavily on voluntary help and donations from local people – please help support small charities in your community.”

Local charities and organisations in West Sussex can apply for funding from the County Council’s Community Initiative Fund (CIF), which is run through the network of fourteen County Local Committees.

“CIF funding has helped support many projects and charities over the years, and has made a real difference. I’m sure there are lots of projects across West Sussex which could really benefit from our help, and I would encourage them to apply for funding,” Louise said.

Some of the events taking place nationally for Small Charity Week include two social media competitions to win funds for a charity on ‘I Love Small Charities Day’ on Monday 15 June 2015, Big Advice Day on Tuesday 16 June 2015 to provide small charities with free expert advice, and culminating with Celebration Day on Saturday 20 June 2015.

Louise added: “This is a chance for people everywhere to get involved and show their support for local charities. But it also aims to reach out to small charities encouraging them to find out what information and support is available to them as part of the activities.”

Why I think devolution represents the best deal for West Sussex residents
Friday, 22 May 2015 15:22

No one can be under any illusion about the appetite for devolution across the country.

I think recent announcements about the Manchester Powerhouse should be applauded -  together with the recent appointment of a Minister for City Devolution.

But devolution shouldn’t be all about cities. Counties have an equally important role to play.

At full council today I talked to Councillors about work WSCC is doing to make the case to government for greater powers and freedoms to be devolved to the South East.

Devolving powers from Whitehall to county council level will enable a co-ordinated approach to delivering better services for local people, improving the economy across the areas and attracting more investment.

Seeking these powers is the natural next step in our journey I believe.

The South East plays a critical role in the UK’s economy. Its economy is growing faster than the rest of the UK, but that success comes with challenges.

We have commissioned research that has highlighted that:

• The south east region of councils produced more than £133 billion in GVA in 2012 – making it the third largest contributor to the UK’s economy.
• The population of the south east region is 5.9 million – second only to London – across all the UK’s regional ‘powerhouses’
• There are more active enterprises in the south east region than Scotland and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority together
• The south east economy is growing faster than the UK economy.
It’s clear that we need to take a more proactive approach with government.
The work done already emphasises the potential benefits of change and the need for central government to change.

Through the initial work that has been done we believe we need to make the case to be able to make an offer to government that will help sustain growth for the whole UK economy.

We’ve identified an initial list of potential “devolution asks”. 

These are grouped into five areas.
• Fiscal devolution – access to defined additional funding sources.
• Road and Rail Infrastructure – to influence or share planning decisions.
• Employment and Skills – roles in areas such as apprenticeships/ troubled families.
• Social Care and Health – additional roles in influencing the care market.
• Infrastructure for the Future – broader longer term initiatives.

We know these are really important areas for our residents and in one way or another help towards improving outcomes to the residents we serve – and at all times that has to be our priority. Together we provide a stronger force to deal with such issues.

It’s very, very early days but I do think this is the future for local Government and I think this represents a really exciting opportunity for the South East and West Sussex in particular.



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