Saturday, 28 March 2015

Residents' Survey after Wildlife Festival 2015?

Hello and welcome to my blog. At the next Joint Strategic Committee, (JSC), of Adur and Worthing Councils on 31st March 2015, the members will be debating a Notice of Motion that,

"This council resolves to conduct a detailed survey of residents' views in Widewater, Mash Barn, Marine and St Nicholas wards immediately after the 2015 Shoreham music festival, concerning the impact it has had on their communities and the desirability of allowing subsequent music festivals at Shoreham airport." (Item 13)

     The motion has been tabled by Councillor Geoff Patmore of Widewater Ward who feels that, "Councillors are elected to represent their constituents. The ADC leadership has failed to listen to its electorate in the 4 wards most affected. This motion addresses that, albeit after the event. If the motion is passed and the survey's result is a resounding "no more Wildlife festivals" then the Council must overrule the Licensing Committee and stop any further disruption and chaos, in many forms, (including increasing the numbers to 70,000 festival attendees per day), that the Wildlife festival will create for the future." 
     The JSC meeting is open to the public who are allowed to ask questions at the start. 
     The first question that springs to my mind is, could this motion really stop the festival
     According to the Council's report, it's a resounding no. Under item 13 of the meeting papers it says that, "The outcome of the survey would therefore not provide a basis by which the licensing authority could take any action against the current premises licence and could not affect the staging of future music festivals. Therefore, should the outcome of the survey be wholly negative towards the event, the Council could not take any action with the regard to the licence holder. 
(Agenda item 13 3.6)
     Conversely, if the majority of local residents are in favour of the event the Council could not prevent the Licensing Committee having to revoke the licence if a review application proved that the licensing objectives were being undermined and the licence holder was not addressing them.
(Agenda item 13 3.7)" 
     So what could the motion achieve? Additional expense to the Council and an opportunity to voice an opinion, yet the Council state that the latter is already provided for under condition 9 of the Premises Licence. That says that, "Premises Licence Holder will... convene a public debrief with residents within one month of the SAG debrief following each Event." 
     The Premises Holder is SJM Ltd. There is a unshakeable perception amongst some local residents that SJM has already demonstrated that it does not give a monkey's about the local community so allowing it to hold a debrief would be even worse than a survey that promised more than it could deliver. 
     In my view, this motion is simply an expression of the sense of anger and injustice felt by some towards the way in which SJM both applied for and were granted the Licence. Until tackled head-on, this motion may just be one of many initiatives designed to give a voice to some frustrated, informed and highly motivated members of our community.
 Here are the details if you wish to attend the meeting.

Adur and Worthing Joint Strategic Committee Meeting
Tuesday 31st March
Council Chamber 
Adur Civic Centre
Ham Road
BN43 6PR

     Thanks for reading my blog. As always, please comment if you wish and in the meantime, I'll be back after Easter with a post on how our iconic airport will benefit from the Wildlife Festival. 


The result of the hearing was as follows,
  1. "The Joint Strategic Committee dismissed the motion as it was satisfied that condition (9) of the premises licence, requiring SJM to engage with local residents and seek their views (at no cost to the Council), would be sufficient." (unapproved minutes of the meeting) 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Crunch time for Adur Bridge / Ferry Road Improvement Scheme

Hello and welcome to my blog. It's D-Day minus two for the Adur Bridge / Ferry Road Improvement Scheme. On 11th March, Adur CLC will decide whether or not it goes ahead and if so, in what form.
     The committee report lists three available options;

1. Implementation of the scheme as first advertised - no compromise offered to shop owners. They lose all three parking spaces and the original scheme goes ahead.
     This has not been recommended to the CLC due to the public objections i.e three shop owners plus 274 letters in support. 

2. Partial implementation of the scheme - a compromise offered to the shop owners and access is maintained to the public hard.
     This has been recommended to the CLC because it saves one of the three parking bays in dispute and maintains the access rights to the slipway area for fishing boats and leisure craft.

3. Partial implementation of the scheme - shop owners insist on protecting three parking spaces hence no development of Ferry Road. 
     This has not been recommended to the CLC as only the work to the north of Riverside Road would be completed. The consequences arising from the difficulty of obtaining additional funding required for these parking spaces, would be no development of Ferry Road and the existing pedestrian crossing.
     So what of the 1460 people who signed a petition asking for the problems to be resolved and the scheme to be implemented? Only the e-petition, which was signed by 411 people, was mentioned in the committee papers. Thus, over the last few days, there has been some rapid email exchanges between Ferry Road Action Group and WSCC, culminating in the following:-

"At the time of drafting the TRO report the overall petition had not been completed/closed hence the numbers not being updated, my apologies for this.
      At the CLC, officers from Adur and WSCC will provide an overview of the project and the plans to move this forward. The lead petitioner will then be given the opportunity to provide a short statement before members debate the options.." (WSCC)

     Hence it's up to Keith, the lead petitioner, to represent the views of the 900 people who signed the paper petition. That's a hefty burden to carry so please come to support him at this Wednesday's meeting. It really is crunch time. 


St. Peter's RC Primary School
Sullington Way
West Sussex
BN43 6PJ

     Incidentally, the agenda also lists a presentation by the Highways Authority on the Wildlife Music Festival at Shoreham Airport.
See you on Wednesday. 
Thanks for droppping by. Ta-ra for now.