It's your chance to make your voice heard this Thursday in the 2006 borough council elections.
THESE are the people and the parties who will be fighting for your vote:
Broadwater: Sheila Player (Lib Dem), Simon Studd (Con), Derek Colkett (Green).
Castle: John Rogers (Con), David Potter (Lib Dem), Julian Warrick (Green).
Central: Peter Barnes (Lab), Lucielle Colkett (Green), Janet Goldsbrough-Jones (Lib Dem), Paul Yallop (Con).
Durrington: Ann Sayers and Mark Withers (Con), Keith Sunderland and Michael Donin (Lib Dem).
Gaisford: Kenneth Brady (Con), Alan Rice (Lib Dem), Marie Hillcoat (Green).
Goring: Christine Allen (Lib Dem), Richard Bater (UKIP), Steven Waight (Con).
Heene: Alan Jones (Lib Dem), Carol Molineaux (Con).
Marine: Chris Baker (Lib Dem), Philip Ruddock (UKIP), Barrie Slater (Lab), Tracey Thompson (Green), Tom Wye (Con).
Northbrook: Diane Jones (Lib Dem), Mark O'Keeffe (Con).
Offington: Norah Fisher (Lib Dem), Reg Green (Con).
Salvington: Michael Cranefield (Lib Dem), Heather Mercer (Con).
Selden: Christine Brown (Lib Dem), Roger Oakley (Con).
Tarring: David Ide (Con), Bob Smytherman (Lib Dem), Sidney Wells (Lab), Christopher Woodward (UKIP)
ELECTION time is here again and, as local Conservatives, we are seeking your support. We may not always find you at home when we call but when we do, when we speak to you, we find that you care about Worthing – just like us.
What matters to you? Quality of life is important to you, but you want value for money from the council's services.
Recycling, clean streets, energy efficiency, tackling anti-social behaviour – all of these things improve your environment and make your community a better place. By taking action locally, your borough council can make a difference.
Our promise to you is to make Worthing a safer, cleaner and healthier town, today and tomorrow.
So what have we done so far?
We've run your council since June, 2004, clearing up the problems we inherited, including the long-term absence of a chief executive since October, 2003. It's been a tough but rewarding job to turn Worthing around and deal with the challenges:
- Crime is down by 15.4 per cent, the best result in the whole of Sussex. 1 per person per year goes into a fund to tackle violent crime, burglary, robbery and criminal damage. We're tough on crime.
- Teville Gate is coming down and in its place will be built a leisure, retail and residential complex worthy of its prime site.
- Weekly refuse and recycling will be improved, in response to your comments.
- The long-awaited masterplan for the regeneration of the town centre and the seafront is near completion and we will be seeking investors to fund these exciting new ideas.
- Council tax increases have been effectively managed below five per cent on our watch.
We, the Conservative team, need you to give us your vote to make Worthing the town we all want it to be.
THE GREEN PARTY has been active in Worthing for over 20 years, campaigning on the real issues that face local residents. But whichever of the two "grey" parties have been in power, the town's heritage continues to be savaged.
Traffic is spiralling out of control, the town looks tatty with boarded-up shops and run-down public buildings and offers little to attract visitors apart from a surfeit of pubs and clubs. The pier's a "white elephant" now the nightclub's closed and desperately needs a make-over, The beach is full of rubbish, and would you swim in the sea?
Because of weak and subservient leadership at the town hall, Tory-run West Sussex County Council has imposed its will on Worthing, and bulldozed through the West Durrington development scheme with the loss of hundreds of ancient trees and trashing of Titnore Lane.
They continue to oppose the South Downs National Park and intend building a bypass across the Downs. This is nothing short of environmental vandalism.
Green Party councillors would concentrate on regenerating the town with better public transport facilities, new and improved children's playgrounds, hugely improved recycling facilities, reduction in mobile phone masts and improved cycling facilities to include safe cycling to school.
We want to see energy-efficient homes and businesses, more tree planting, free care for the elderly and traffic reduction, especially on the A27. We support calls for water conservation by reducing the number of municipal hanging baskets this year, and would promote wind and sea power to generate renewable energy supplies.
Two-party politics at the town hall is unhealthy, and has led to a culture of complacency and unaccountability. Before you vote, make sure you know what you're voting for. Ask candidates questions. Remember the unprofessional and childish behaviour that resulted in such an enormous financial cost to Worthing residents in the form of "Sherylgate". Green Party councillors would bring transparency, honesty and common sense to the council – a long-overdue breath of fresh air.
THE Conservatives have been running Worthing for years, with the Liberal Democrats occasionally taking control. Labour offers something different but we have no councillors and cannot make our voice heard. We believe it is time for a new approach in Worthing borough council, working in alliance with a Labour government.
This town has its problems:
- Drunks and violence in the town centre.
- Litter and graffiti disfiguring the town.
- Planning decisions that put business interests before residents.
- A council without political and professional leadership at the top level.
If we had some Labour members on this council we could argue for some of the things this town needs:
- A stricter licensing policy
- Better control of litter and graffiti
- Conservation of our remaining green spaces and historic buildings
- More facilities for young people
Look what a Labour government has done recently for local services:
- From this month, free travel off-peak, on all buses in the county, for people over 60
- Last month's budget included more money for schools; helping pay for more teachers, help for hard-working families with the cost of bringing up children; help for young families to get on the housing ladder.
And it's not just the last few months:
- Britain has the lowest mortgage rates for 40 years, the lowest inflation for 40 years and the lowest unemployment since the 1970s.
- There are now 220 more police officers fighting crime in Sussex than in 2001. And police community support officers, introduced by this government, are making a big difference.
- Since 1997, standards in our schools have risen across the board and there are now 410 more teachers helping children in West Sussex.
If there is a Labour candidate in your ward, give him one of your votes.
WORTHING Liberal Democrats will aim to achieve the following:
- Improve roads by working with the county council to make street sweeping more efficient, and provide more dog bins.
- Provide a new swimming facility, within a reasonable budget and timetable, on an acceptable site.
- Reinstate a night bus service.
- Sign service level agreements with Dial-A-Ride, Shopmobility and Lovett Court to ensure their survival.
- Reintroduce the town centre police team.
- Complete the seafront cycle route.
- Require the West Durrington development to have viable infrastructure before supporting it.
- Work publicly with the owners of the Teville Gate site for an acceptable, attractive development.
- Ban councillors collecting double allowances.
As soon is practicable:
- Improve Worthing's recycling rate; work to extend Worthing's fair trade town status; widen the uses of Worthing Pier; support a new community centre building in Broadwater; support Maybridge Keystone Club's plans for a new youth and community centre; increase the number of police community support officers; provide park and ride facilities; produce plans for the civic centre car park site and Union Place to attract business to the town centre; support action in parliament and better consultation on mobile phone masts.
In the long term:
- Set an annual tree-planting target; require all new housing to be green and sustainable; plan and implement seafront enhancements; give full support to our voluntary sector; support local communities in taking control of their own problems and solutions; support the crime disorder reduction partnership to make Worthing a safer place; press for an A27 bypass; campaign for the East Worthing access road; work with businesses to invigorate the local economy; fully cost all plans and not enter into open-ended agreements with developers.
TODAY, local councils are weak and powerless. They are often told what to do by central government. Looking after the interests of their local communities has to take second place.
The UK Independence Party believes in giving real democratic power and resources to local communities to tackle issues like planning, crime, social services, and education.
Local taxes: Council tax has almost doubled in many areas over the last few years, hitting pensioners in particular. A vast amount of money is wasted on bureaucracy and politically correct jobs without the public ever being consulted.
UKIP calls for the return of financial responsibility to councils by letting them keep local business rates.
Cut the money wasted on politically correct initiatives and appointments.
Local democracy: We will work for the abolition of the South East England Regional Assembly; the EU- inspired, unelected layer of government to which this council currently contributes 4,500 per year. Dismantle regional government and return powers to traditional county and borough councils: Return control over local matters from Whitehall to the town hall. Let local people call a binding local referendum on any major local issue.
Crime: Ensure stricter sentencing and zero tolerance of anti-social behaviour. Make police forces accountable to local, not regional, or national, authorities.
Housing: Return local planning control to local councils and away from central bureaucrats. Oppose the proposal to build hundreds of new homes in Titnore Lane, especially with the lack of local amenities and the worsening water shortage.
Education: Greater freedom and independence for schools over teaching, examinations and discipline. Encourage competitive school sports, playing fields and school trips.
Health: No increase in home care charges. Expand services for the elderly and remove unnecessary bureaucracy. Create more residential care homes.