Cuts by Arun District Council spark a revolt

Screams the headline in this week’s Littlehampton Gazette.

It was enough to make me reach deep into my pockets and part with the 75p it now costs to browse the week old news in our local advertiser.

In the absence of a murder, headlines like this sell newspapers.

I could scarcely wait to get back to Pier Road towers, forgoing on my way an opportunity to remonstrate with a group of the now all too familiar drunks who have taken up residence in Littlehampton town centre of late.

The small village of Balcombe got the fracking protestors, which in turn led them to getting what’s left of our much needed local police force, consequently Littlehampton town centre, with the notable absence of a local effective police force, has got a wave of drunks in doorways…

But, I diverse.

Back to the headline.

I opened the paper with increasing excitement to find out what the exact nature of this ‘revolt’ at Arun District Council was all about.

I needn’t have bothered.

A revolt at Arun District Council is about as likely as a mass walkout by terminally ill patients in hospice care.

So what’s it all about?

Well, same old story really.

Arun District Council are supposedly broke and accordingly cut backs are continuing. Now instead of targeting the residents, time to target the local councils which Arun fund.

So, wham bang slash and in a moment of death-by-powerpoint-equal-opportunity driven frenzy – Chief Executive Nigel Lynn has decreed that Arun will cut its funding to councils as follows:

First up is the biggest loser, The Town Council who are to loose all of the £147,000 that Arun pays it in subsidies every year.

Let that be a lesson to the Town Council’s clerk, Peter Herbert for writing Nigel Lynn an unpleasant letter earlier in the year where he accused him of acting unlawfully when he alleged that Nigel and a few select councillors together with the Chief Executive of Inspire Leisure conspired behind closed doors to close the Windmill cinema.

Not only that, Peter Herbert had the cheek to expect a reply – and wrote another scathing letter when no reply was forthcoming.

Never bite that hand that fees you, Peter.

Next up for Nigel’s Cash for slash – is  Rustington Parish Council set to loose a whopping great £48,000

Arundel Town Council is going to loose £12,000.

East Preston – £13,000

Yapton – £4,800.

(Yet Arun District Council have only recently commissioned yet another £12,000 Consultants Survey to look at the swimming pool)

Hey, listen, Nigel, unlike yourself I’m not fortunate enough to earn a salary circa £115,000 such as yours – and I don’t bedruge you it. But just think, if we got rid of you and replaced you with a voluntary Chief Executive, there’d be enough money to continue to pay for all the Parish councils as well as making a significant contribution to the Town Council.

All very well you saying we have to make these cuts, however, only last week you approved yet another £12,000 to be paid to consultants.

So, poor old Yapton Parish Council who I would imagine rely heavily on the relatively small £4,800 a year they get see their budget slashed. While the already affluent private consultancy industry get another £12k at our expense.

Something wrong here.

So, yes, I agree with Dr Walsh whose come out with some real impressive fighting talk in this week’s Gazette:

“In effect, Arun is stealing money due to parish and town council to stuff into its already massive reserves of £32m.” He says in this week’s Gazette.

So where can we all join the revolution?

Ah, well, we can’t.

The Revolution scheduled for the 26th October 2013 is taking the form of a Committee meeting.

Promising a night of outraged finger waving, coffee and biscuits….

2 thoughts on “Cuts by Arun District Council spark a revolt

  1. Sadly the Arun members and the Town Council failed to follow through when to quote you “Nigel and a few select councillors together with the Chief Executive of Inspire Leisure conspired behind closed doors to close the Windmill cinema”. They made a bit of noise then went silent.

    My concern is that some sort of deal will be done and then once again the cabinet will be off the hook. I hope I am wrong!

    The cabinet should be held to account for their actions.

    • Yes, indeed, same old story, I’m afraid. Similar to the planning meetings. Lots of councillors standing up making speeches against and then when it comes to the vote, voting in favour. That’s local ‘democracy’ at it’s best…

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