Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Parklife Festival planned for Shoreham Airport?

Hello and welcome to my blog. I had hoped that my last blog of 2014 would be full of Christmas good cheer, but I'm afraid that its' been derailed by confirmation of rumours concerning SJM Ltd's plan for the proposed two-day music festival at Shoreham Airport.
     Initially, the rumours were just about why no-one knew about the application until three days before the end of the 28 day consultation period. The answer may be due to SJM's failure to display the notice in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 Regulations.

This is what was displayed.

It should have been displayed on pale blue paper in font size 16 and in a position which could be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises. Mere detail? No. The Licensing Regulations were drafted this way so that the notice was eye-catching. That SJM's notice was not easily seen, even by those who were looking for it, bears this out.
     Has the Licensing Unit at Adur District Council asked SJM to re-advertise in accordance with the law? Not yet. Why they have not, is a matter for the Licensing Committee.
     SJM has not given us any information on the type of festival it has planned. Rumours have  therefore circulated on social media that it is going to be like V-Festival. 
     V-Festival is a huge music festival held in two locations simultaneously with the artists performing in one location on the first day and at the other location on the second. However, it can't be a V-Festival because that's always held in August and SJM have said that they want the Shoreham Airport festival to take place on the weekend of 6th and 7th June 2015. So what other festivals do SJM run in June?  The huge and highly contraversial Parklife and this, according to my sources, is what SJM plan for Shoreham Airport. 
     Parklife entered the festival scene in 2010 at Platt Fields in Manchester as a one-day dance music festival aimed at a student audience. 15,000 people attended. The following year it was extended to a two-day dance music festival with a capacity of 15,000 per day. 
     The Secretary of Friends of Platt Fields commented at the time, "We will see massive lorries churning up the park and an immense volume of people that is horrible for people living around who don't like it. The current entertainment licence specifies 10 days of major events a year but it has been pointed out that the disruption time for the park is alot more than 10 days. Parklife will be 18 days alone, of which the concerts will only be recorded as two."  
     Platts Field only hosted Parklife for three years because by then it had swelled to a 50,000 strong crowd. Simon Wheale, a local councillor explained, "The essential problem is that Parklife is a major national music event, with an international line-up of acts, which the council has supported, despite the venue not being big enough or in the right location, to take the infrastructure necessary for an event of this size." Parklife's co-director was sanguine about leaving Platts Field and moving to Heaton Park, "students will follow the Pied Piper of Parklife whereever it may take them."
     And they did. In 2013, at the bigger, better Parklife, the students didn't just come from Manchester, they came from Birmingham, Bradford, York, London, Bristol, and Durham. In fact, from all over the country. This is what Parklife 2013 looked like. The following year, it looked like this. It has gone from strength to strength but so has the local community's resentment of the impact the festival has had on them.  It has reached a point where Heaton's local MP, Ivan Lewis, has called for Parklife 2015 to be banned and a petition will be presented to Manchester Council calling for its immediate cancellation.
    So, are SJM hoping that Shoreham will be hosting Parklife, or a version of it, in 2015? Yes, if my sources are right and the plan is that, just like V-Festival, Parklife festival will take place at two locations simultaneously and the acts, like Snoop Dogg, Camo and Krooked and DJs like High Contrast and Carl Cox, will play at one venue on one day and at the second venue on the other. I understand that Shoreham Airport is SJM's second venue and hence, the reason that the dates proposed for the Shoreham festival co-incide with those at Parklife Manchester.

     SJM's application is due to be heard at a public Licensing Committee Hearing at 7.00pm on 7th January 2015.  The application will be heard by Adur Licensing Committee in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ham Road, Shoreham-by-Sea. 

     After receiving some alarming advice from Adur's Licensing unit, I have been assured that the Licensing Committee have not pre-judged the application in the applicant's favour.  However, I cannot understand how the Licensing Committee can even proceed with the application if the applicant has not compiled with the law and has offended the spirit of the Licensing Act by denying the local residents essential information which would allow them an opportunity to have a say in licensing decisions that may affect them.  If Parklife comes to Shoreham Airport, it undoubtedly will. 
    I therefore urge the committee to remove application WK/201410956 for a premises licence for Shoreham Airport from the agenda until such times as the applicant has compiled with both the letter and the spirit of the Licensing Act.

     If you agree with me, please contact
 the Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Cllr Carson Albury,
 on email at 
or in writing at Democratic Services, Adur and Worthing Councils, Worthing Town Hall, Chapel Road, Worthing. BN11 1HA

Well, what a note to end on. Just one more thing, the campaign meeting to get the improvement works completed on Adur Ferry Bridge and Ferry Road is tomorrow, Thursday 18th December at 7.00pm at Tom Foolery High Street Shoreham-by-Sea

Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Ferry Bridge and Ferry Road Improvement Scheme - it's all about the TRO

Hello and welcome to my blog. Last week, I mentioned that the Ferry Road and Lower Beach Road redevelopment was under threat and that we needed to attend the meeting of the Adur County Local Committee (CLC), to show our support.
    Consequently, a few of us went along to the meeting, including Adur's Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Keith Dollemore,  Cllr Liza McKinney, district councillor for Marine Ward and Joss Loader, Chair of Shoreham Beach Residents' Assocation (SBRA). 
     We weren't there long because our item, "Ferry Bridge - proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)," was taken off the agenda. A legal issue had just come to light concerning a public hard, (an ancient right of way allowing access and launching rights to the river). As only Parliament can agree to close it, that was that. Ferry Road was off the agenda. We could speak if we wanted and the hands flew up.
     Cllr Keith Dollemore was the first on his feet.  He registered his dismay that it'd only just been discovered. Next up was Cllr McKinney who repeated what Cllr Dollemore said then appealed to the committee not to withdraw the item but split the project up into two halves so that the public hard didn't hold up the rest of the development. The committee was having none of it. Mr Robert Baker and I limped up in third and fourth place. He told the committee that he thought that he owned the land outside his unit so no TRO. I said that those who objected should be told the correct information to see if they still wished to object. With that the Chair ended further comments and we all trooped out.
     So where does that leave us now?
     In short, no Lower Beach Road and Ferry Road improvements anytime soon and some of us are not taking it lying down.
     We can't do anything about the public hard, but the TRO is another issue.
    We need the Traffic Regulation Order, (TRO), so that Adur Council can commence work on the improvement scheme but first it has to be signed off by the Local County Committee.
     Mick Clark, County Councillor for Saltings, (Shoreham Beach and parts of South Lancing), will not sign it off following lawful objections from three traders in Ferry Road, a hairdressers, an accountancy firm and a specialist embroidery shop, who sent out an effective mail shot which gathered 274 objections to the TRO, (see previous blog).
     They say that they will struggle to remain trading without the four parking spaces immediately outside their premises. They will lose customers and therefore will have to reduce staff numbers.
     Cllr Clark has suggested that a new parking bay is therefore provided for them at an additional cost of £37,000.
     Incidentally, the nearest public car park to the traders is approximately one minute's walk away and there is on street parking in Ferry Road.
     Thanks SBRA for helping to clarify the situation.
     So where does that leave those of us who want the job finished?
One word, protesting.
     At this stage, it's a two pronged initiative which has come from some of the members of New Shoreham by Sea Facebook page.
     The first prong is a footwear protest to show that we want somewhere safe and decent to walk. Perhaps wheelchair users could add a spare wheel to show the importance of proper access.

Footwear protest on the south side of Adur Ferry Bridge.

     The second is a petition. When drafted, it'll be available to sign in a paper and e-format.
    You can also contact WSCC facebook page to have your say, your County Councillor, (ours is Mick Clark), local Councillors or our MP, Tim Loughton.
     If we just ask for the work to be done,  the public hard will bring that to a flying stop. However, if we ask for the TRO to be split up to cover everywhere except the public hard, we may get somewhere.
     This is an Adur issue and not everyone has access to the web, so please pass the word on.
     This scheme is too important to be shunted down or off an agenda.
Thanks for popping-by.
Have a great week and see you soon.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Shoreham Airport's application for a "Festival" Licence

Hello and welcome to my blog. Straight in again because time is not on your side if you want to comment on Shoreham Airport's application for a "Festival" Licence.  Here is the application.

Shoreham Airport
Premises Licence: New Application
Licensing Act 2003
Shoreham Airport, Cecil Pashley Way, Shoreham (Brighton City) Airport, Lancing, West Sussex, BN43 5FF

Applicant: SJM Ltd
Application date: 6/11/2014
Representation by: 4/12/2014

Reference WK/201410956

Representation invited
No conditions applied


Max Number: 69,999 persons
Opening Hours (O)
12:00 01:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 03:00
12:00 03:00

Max Number: 69,999 persons
Alcohol OFF Sales/Supply (M)
page1image38776 page1image39416 page1image40056
12:00 00:30
12:00 23:30
12:00 23:30
12:00 23:30
12:00 23:30
12:00 02:00
12:00 02:00

Max Number: 69,999 persons
Late Night Refreshment
page1image63024 page1image63344 page1image63664 page1image63984 page1image64304 page1image64624
23:00 01:00
23:00 00:00
23:00 00:00
23:00 00:00
23:00 00:00
23:00 03:00
23:00 03:00

Max Number: 69,999 persons
Live Music (E) Recorded Music (F) Exhibit Film (B)
page1image87400 page1image88040 page1image88680 page1image89320
12:00 01:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 00:00
12:00 03:00
12:00 03:00

It is an application for an unconditional licence,  so they are not offering to restrict themselves to a maximum stage volume, latest time for any fireworks/light displays, instruct festival goers not to park locally, escort festival goers to and from shuttle buses, etc. 
Conditions can be imposed by the Licensing Authority. 


     Shuttle buses will be provided to collect festival goers from Brighton, Worthing and Shoreham railways stations. The majority of the shuttle buses will travel on the A27 not the A259 because of the low bridge from the A259 entrance. 
     Applicant is in negotiation with coach and railway companies about transporting festival goers from the airport after the event has ended.
     There will be NO CAR PARKING on Shoreham Airport OR Adur Recreation Ground. Only shuttle buses will be able to park on Adur Rec.
     There will be NO CAMPING on site.  Festival goers will have to use local B&B's and campsites like Coombes Farm. 
     Transport will not be provided to either so festival goers will have to make their own way there i.e  if camping at Coombes Farm they will have to drive or walk.
     Policing will be by their own SIA registered staff and some Sussex police officers at applicant's expense
     Tickets can be bought for one or both days.
     Ticket will not be sold to under 14 year olds. Those between 14-18 years have to be accompanied and soft drinks will be available.
     Expected ticket sales for 2015 about 25,000, about 70,000 in 2016-17.
     There will be different stages showing different acts at different times.
     If Licence is granted the first event will be on a weekend in June 2015 - unspecified at this stage.
     There will be a staggered "closing time" as the stages will close at different times.
     Thanks to Adur District Council's licensing team for providing this information. 

     If you would like to comment on the application you need to give your name, address, application to which it refers, (WK/201410956 - SJM Ltd) and reasons for your representation.
    If you want to object it has to be on the grounds of, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm, (i.e safeguarding and alcohol issues).
You have until MIDNIGHT on 4th DECEMBER 2014 to make representations.
You can email
Write to            Simon Jones,  Licensing Team Leader 
Adur and Worthing District Licensing Unit,  9 Commerce Way, Lancing BN15 8TA.
Contact your local Councillor. 

Cor, it's all a bit busy at the moment and remember tonight's meeting on the Ferry Road Improvement scheme. Thanks for dropping by. 
Ta-ra for now and excuse any typos, time is of the essence. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Ferry Road Development under threat!

Hello and welcome to my blog. I'll dive straight in because the "delightful improvement to Ferry Road shopping area"  is under threat.
     It is under threat because 274 members of the public objected to the redevelopment on the grounds of loss of parking. As a result, the Council are recommending that it is changed.
     However, some of these objections may have been made after reading the erroneous petition circulated earlier this year by three businesses on Ferry Road. 
It said, 
1. The area in front of the four shops at the north end of Ferry Road is to be paved over and therefore parking spaces will be lost.
2. The parking bays outside the other shops in Ferry Road will remain with a 1 hour restricted parking in place.
3. Double yellow lines will be in place on the rest of Ferry Road.
4. Parking charges are to be reinstated at the car park.
5. The pedestrian crossing is being relocated to the east of Ferry Road. 
   BUT there will not be double yellow lines along the rest of Ferry Road. Only four parking spaces will be lost, all of which are outside the three business that have objected.          
    "Our clear understanding is that parking will still be allowed on the western side of the road, by the flats. This has been confirmed by Adur District Council.  If the recommendation to amend the plans is accepted, it will certainly cause lengthy delays, particularly as there is a requirement to find extra funding. Both our District Councillors have already told me they are unhappy with the report and its recommendations which makes no reference to SBRA or Adur District Council support - or the fact that the mailshot, which resulted in so many objections, was incorrect," said Joss Loader, Chair of Shoreham Beach Residents Assocation.
    If you want to oppose the recommendation that the plans to improve Ferry Road are changed please make your views known at the
     Our Councillors, Liza McKinney Ben Stride and SBRA chair, Joss Loader, will be attending the meeting but they will NOT be able to persuade the committee to vote against the recommendation without support from beach residents. 
     Thanks for dropping by and maybe I'll see you on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

William Earl: Memoir of a World War Two Nursing Orderly

Hello and welcome to my blog. I've not posted recently, (broken ankle, nuff said), so I'm going to dive straight in with an introduction to my current writing project, William Earl: Memoir of a World War Two Nursing Orderly
     You may be familiar with the name because William contributed to the last series of, "a day in the life of..."  
     William Earl was born in 1915 and had just celebrated his 25th Birthday when he joined up. It was 1940, and he enlisted just after the catastrophe at Dunkirk. Defending the country against the threat of an imminent German invasion took precedence over training, so William entered active service immediately.
3782155 Pte William Earl R.A.M.C
 "We would train during the day and at night we’d be in a little tent in the middle of a field armed with a pickaxe handle and whistle to fend off German paratroopers. The whistle was to give a warning blast if we saw any Germans. If we did, the man in the next field would hear and give a blast on his whistle, and so on, until it reached an army unit. What they expected us to do with the pickaxe I never really found out. 
     The whole thing was crazy yet funny; there was me, one minute in my bed at home, the next in the middle of a field ready to fight off an invasion."
      As an experienced pharmacy assistant, William was assigned to the Royal Army Medical Corps and attached to the 56th (London) Division, part of the Eight Army.  
     He was posted to a Field Ambulance, a mobile medical unit which followed an infantry  brigade into battle, so when the order was given in August 1942, he was one of the 5,000 men in the 56th, who assembled at Liverpool docks and embarked on RMS Franconia II for an unknown destination. He left behind his beloved wife, Mary, and their newborn son. 
Mary and William Earl with their son David.
"I got to see David twice before I left but I never had a chance to say good-bye to my darling Mary."
     The journey across the Atlantic was perilous. German U-boats were ravaging Allied shipping so the army took the precaution of sending the men in one convoy and their arms and equipment in another. The men's convoy crossed unmolested and during the lengthy journey William formed a deep friendship with Frank Allen, a fellow Nursing Orderly.
Back row far left - Frank Allen, far right William 
"What brought us together was our shared love of football. He was a boot-maker and apart from football, I don’t think he had much experience of life, so he would listen to me a great deal because I’d lived in London and life was so different there. He’d listen and nod his head and smile. It was a pleasure to be in his company and we would talk about lots of things, our early years, sport, my musical activities, our jobs, and how we met our wives. 
     I had no brothers or sisters but, in Frank, I found a person who I would have quite happily embraced as a real brother and from that point on, we became inseparable."
      Upon their arrival in Capetown, the men learned that the other convoy had been attacked. Their arms and equipment had been sunk incapacitating the Division for the next five months. Once re-equipped and re-united, the Division speedily set off from Iraq to join the Eight Army as it confronted the Axis forces in Tunsia. 
     William's Field Ambulance arrived near the frontline on 22nd April 1943, and entered the fray the following day. 
     "We’d spent years practicing what to do when we came under fire but nothing prepared us for the real thing. In training we knew we were safe. The infantry fired blanks, and we knew they were blanks. The Sergeant Majors were always yelling at us to GET DOWN! LAY DOWN! But now they are using real ammunition and there was no-one there to tell us what to do. We were facing death at any moment so we had to act instantly. We could not afford to make even the slightest mistake." 
     William's section was responsible for treating and collecting casualties from the Regimental Aid Posts positioned on the frontline, and for transporting them down the evacuation chain. Although constantly in close proxmity to the troops, the R.A.M.C men  were in the Army, but not of the Army. 
     "All the time it was drilled into us; we were not there to fight the Germans. Our job was to save the wounded in accordance with the Geneva Convention. All of them were human beings and we could not discriminate. That meant that we had to treat a German soldier, an Italian soldier, or any other enemy soldier, as if he was one of ours."
     Likewise, the Germans were signatories to the Convention so when the Germans surrendered on 12th May, the British and German field ambulances established a joint dressing station to treat all the battle wounded. 
"It was quite emotional when we arrived, and we all said, “Hello,” and shook hands. Medical men had no enemies and the Germans had kept to the Geneva Convention so we were quite happy to join them. The joint dressing station was much bigger than ours and for a week or so we worked side-by-side and we got on very well together. We shared our rations and I tasted sauerkraut for the first time in my life." 
Men from the Anglo-German dressing station. 
Tunisia May 1943
     Despite the victory in the North African Campaign, the Allies lacked the resources to take the fight to France. Winston Churchill, therefore, persuaded the Americans that, in the interim, they should attack the Germans in Italy. They reluctantly agreed and without a definite plan in place, the Allies launched the Italian Campaign.
     The Eight Army was divided up and one of the 56th's infantry brigades headed off for Sicily whilst the other two joined the newly created Anglo-American Fifth Army. 
     "We were happy to be part of the American Army in Italy because their rations were so much better than ours. They had steak and kidney puddings in their tins, whereas in our rations we had meat and veg in one tin and a few dried biscuits and it was one tin between two of us."
     As the Eight Army embarked for Sicily, the Fifth commenced training for the amphibious landing at Salerno, on the Italian mainland. 
     "Enfidaville had been a baptism of fire so by the time we finished training we thought, "We’re battle-hardened troops now, we can cope with anything." Then, of course, came Italy..."
     William's memoir is almost finished and as he enters his 100th year, speed is of the essence. Just as important, though, is the obligation to do his and his comrades' story justice. Their selflessness, courage, and spirit is worthy of praise equal to that heaped upon the fighting troops, but it's seldom given. Pehaps people are confused because theirs wasn't a conventional role. It was a fight to control the impulse to run or recoil; to discriminate; to retaliate; to survive; or give up. 
     William, however, is clear about the part they played.
William and his comrades.
Venice, May 1945
"We fought too. We fought to save the wounded."
     If I had broken my ankle on an Italian battlefield, not a French staircase, it would have been a man like William who would have helped me. This thought is with me as I write the final chapters of William Earl: Memoir of a World War Two Nursing Orderly. Once completed, the next battle will be to find a publisher. That is the stuff of another posting, in the meantime,  I wish you a peaceful and reflective Remembrance Day. 
     Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing you next time with a feature on the 2015 Adur Festival.
     Ta-ra for now.