Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Boundaries - all change

Arundel ward is top left hand corner and is vast.

You may or may not be aware, but the Arundel & Walberton wards have had a boundary change forced
upon them by the Boundary Commission. We now have a ridiculous situation where as The Arundel and Walberton ward is being joined to make it a 3 member (Councillor) ward. It is a huge geographical area with a total of 11 parishes. (part of Angermering, Arundel, Polling, Lyminster, Warningcamp, Burpham, South Stoke, Madehurst, Houghton, Slindon, Walberton)

Residents may not be aware but District Councillors have to service the Parishes and I regularly visit Arundel Town Council, Burpham Parish, Warningcamp and Lyminster Parish Council. Norman Dingerman who is the Councillor for Walberton regularly visits Walberton, Slindon and Madehurst parishes

Arun District as a whole is reducing from 56 Councillors to 52, but I believe the Boundary Commission has missed a trick. I wanted to see a reduction from 56 to 45 which I believed would save Arun up to £250,000 and could have kept an Arundel two member ward, I made my own representations, but there wasn’t unanimity by Arun Councillors so the Boundary Commission forced its own solution on the Council.

So now we have a situation where each of us will need to service 11 parishes, unless we decide to divide the ward ourselves into areas of responsibility which defeats the whole purpose of the Boundary Commissions review.

The Conservatives have chosen their 3 candidates for the Arundel & Walberton ward, they are myself, Norman Dingerman and new Candidate Robert Wheal, Don Ayling who is the other current Arundel District Councillor didn’t put his name forward for re-selection, so our thanks need to go to him for his erstwhile service as Arundel District Councillor.

I don’t know the names of other party’s candidates yet; maybe someone from those parties can contact me so I can advise readers who they are in future articles. I would hope that we could possibly get some public hustings going when the election starts so the public can join the electoral debate, I leave that to the individual parishes to decide if they wish to do that.

Local Conservatives are holding a Curry Lunch on the 7th of September at the excellent India Gate restaurant in Arundel, Non Members are very welcome -Tickets only: £19.50pp.which includes
Papadoms, Two Courses of Indian Cuisine inc wine or beer. Bookings can be made via http://www.southdownsconservatives.com
Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun DC. He can be contacted on email pauldendle@aol.com.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Arundel Youth Club & Learning Tree Nursery - Statement from Arundel Town Council

Arundel Town Council Statement

"We are pleased to advise that following a meeting yesterday (16 July 2014) an agreement has been reached between Arundel Youth Club and the Learning Tree, with the result that provision for both services will continue whilst the legal issues with the lease (lessor WSCC) of the premises which is used by both the Youth Club and the Learning Tree is resolved.

We extend our thanks to all parties involved in particular Cllr Dendle of Arun District Council who chaired the meeting, and look forward to a final outcome that will enhance youth and early years services in Arundel.

Commenting Cllr Dendle said “It was a difficult meeting but in the end we managed to come to a common sense solution with the goodwill of all parties”, The Mayor Cllr Tu said “This was an issue that has been of concern to us for a number of months and we are pleased to play an active role in the solution”.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Flood Fair in Arundel - Call to action

Arundel Flooding.
If you may remember, I have been pushing to try and get Flood Forum down to Arundel to advise regarding simple devices that can help build resilience for your homes, I managed to get Arun to contribute money towards the event

Mike De-Lara of the  Arundel Flood Risk Community Group has arranged for them to be at the Town Hall on the Friday the 12th of September from 4-8pm,  I would urge all residents to put this date in their diary, forewarned is forearmed and there is talk (not confirmed yet) that insurance premiums could be reduced if you install these type of devices,  it will be worth an hour of your time.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Leisure for all?

K2 in Crawley, something similar for Arun?.
When I was 11 years old, I lived in a Council house in a new town with my mother and my brother and I suppose we would be classed as a single parent family.  I used to visit my local sports centre and I took up boxing which prepared me on two levels, firstly I had more confidence to take on bully’s (giving the odd one a bloody nose), also it helped to build my character and gave me a greater insight to who I was, in other words sport really helped me develop as a rounded individual and useful member of society.
The reason I mention it is that on the 30th of June the Arun Tourism & Infrastructure working party will meet to decide on an alternative to the existing Littlehampton Sports & Swimming Centre.  The old centre is 32 years old and is showing its age and is increasingly becoming quite expensive to run.  The existing site is not in an ideal location as it does not have good transport links.
Consultants were employed to do a study on whether to replace the existing centre and if so, the best place for that centre. They have come up with a recommendation to move it to a site which is adjacent the new road that will link with the Lyminster bypass and where it crosses the A259 just between the two body shop roundabouts.   This is at the centre of where people live in Littlehampton and would be at the crossroads of north to south and east to west of bus services (a short bus ride from Arundel). 
Children like my 11 year self cannot currently easily get to the existing centre, and if we can get a building that’s bigger, better, cheaper to run and more central it would be closer to the areas where the people who really need it would benefit the most.
Birmingham city Council had an experiment a number of years ago where they gave free off peak gym membership to some adults and children, it cut obesity and did so well that the NHS decided to help fund the initiative because it helped to re-educate people to have a healthier life style which then helped cut admissions to hospital.   You could call this the nanny state, but I don’t think so, as it takes a lot of work to get fit and you really need to want to do it to succeed, but surly we as a society should give children the where for all and opportunity to do so?

Until next month, Paul Dendle is the Arundel ward member and now the Cabinet member for Leisure and Amenities, web site www.pauldendle.org & email is Pauldendle@aol.com

Monday, 2 June 2014

Arun voted Best Council in Green awards

Arun voted Best Council.
Arun District Council has been voted the best green council - after winning the Council of the Year award.  The Green Deal and Eco Awards for 2014 has recognised the council's efforts to implement green energy schemes.
The council faced stiff competition from East Renfrewshire, Fife council, London Borough of Hillingdon, Newark, Sherwood and Wirral Council.  
Councilor Paul Dendle Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Arun District Council said:
"Arun has been at the forefront of developing innovative eco schemes which have helped residents fight fuel poverty and preserve the environment. We will continue to help and encourage our residents to save money and fight climate change"

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Local Plan ramifications & difficult decisions

Arun agreed up to 580 houses per annum to be built.
Some of you may have seen the newspaper reports regarding the recent debate on the Local Plan, we had to vote on whether to agree the strategic option of providing 2000 houses Eastergate/Westergate and Barnham and also 600 houses in Angermering.

If we don’t have a local plan in place then we are vulnerable as a District for Planning by appeal, this is where a developer would put in an application on a site to the Planning authority which is rejected by local Councillors, if the Developer subsequently appeals to the planning inspectorate in Bristol, the appeal can be allowed for the sole reason that the planning authority did not have a local plan in place.

So this could get applications popping up all over the place, on Greenfield sites like Horses Field and it would be planning anarchy, also we wouldn’t get the windfalls of developer contributions to build new roads or community buildings.

This situation has arisen because the previous Labour government wanted to see more house building and designed this into the system; the coalition government also wants more house building so has allowed the system to continue.  As a country we need more houses, but this is not localism, it’s planning by duress.

 So I voted for the recommendation not because I wanted to or that I believe putting these houses in these locations was desirable, I voted for it to stop planning by appeal and I saw a vote for yes as the lesser of two evils and however I looked at the conundrum I could not see a way out.

It was not an easy or popular decision, but we couldn’t wait any longer in making a decision however unpalatable or unpopular as we have already had a number of applications approved on appeal.

Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward and Cabinet Member for the Environment on Arun DC.   He can be contacted on email pauldendle@aol.com.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Arundel's Retail Environment

Tarrant Street Arundel, possible
 Pedestrian friendly area?
I am writing this article in the run up to the referendum on the Arundel Neighbourhood plan, hopefully the referendum gave a strong yes vote and the town has again established itself as being a the forefront of other communities in leading the way.

The Neighbourhood plan will dovetail into Arun’s local plan and will be a comprehensive master-plan for the town’s development, detailing economic, housing, planning and community development.

  I have heard that the Nat West branch in Arundel (part of the RBS group) is cutting its hours to be virtually a part time branch. I suppose this is inevitable in the Internet age, but I have never understood why the big banks never got together to share branches and cut costs, even joining with Royal Mail, you could have banking centres with branded bank teller windows and shared utilities.

But with many things in our town, if we don’t use it we will lose it so there is a need for us to support local business, but I also think there are opportunities for business’s to join together and create delivery networks to compete with the large Internet offerings from the supermarkets.  But in many ways as I have stated before I believe Arundel is in the post retail stage of development and well placed to take advantage of the leisure shopper looking for a destination experience rather than just doing essential shopping.

I have been told that the two Arundel 20mph zones are progressing and will come about sometime in late 2015, this is something I have been campaigning for nearly four years, I have heard that similar zones in other towns have cut road injuries by 23%, I know that all the people won’t go at 20mph, but if they go at 25mph instead of 35mph then that’s progress and something to celebrate and will make out streets more civilised and safer.

We also need to move more quickly on the Leisure strategy recommendations for Arundel and implement them to allow the town to move to a pedestrian friendly street scene with more alfresco dining opportunities, we have a good quality of life in Arundel, but we can make it better. 

  Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com  www.pauldendle.org

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