COLUMNIST: Mike Mendoza, chairman of Adur District Council

IT was interesting to read in the press this week about how much local authorities have made out of parking charges.

It was good to note that Adur was the lowest recipient of the public’s hard-earned cash. It has always been our policy, and I hope it stays that way, that we would not charge for on-street parking, thus protecting our traders and making it easier for shoppers to support traders in our district.

We do, however, charge for the use of car parks and that has to be fair in order to maintain them in good condition and not to be a burden on the council taxpayer.

There has been a fair bit written and spoken about ‘fracking’ in the country. Of course, part of Sussex (Balcombe) is very much in the news right now.

I have received a lot of mail this week on the subject and would like to take this opportunity to assure those who have concerns that we, Adur District Council, has not received any applications or pre-application enquiries about such activities.

Even if a licence was to be granted to a fracking company, it would still need planning permission before they could explore. We have been informed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that there are no licensed areas around Adur that can be taken up.

I would also add that this is, in fact, a county council matter, with the district council having very little say.

I had great pleasure in attending the Lancing Youth Centre during the past week, where a group of youngsters had totally arranged by themselves to decorate the centre and arrange a charity fundraising event.

On offer was a bouncy castle, entertainment, stalls and even a gerbil display. Well done to all those involved. I was very impressed with the facilities that were on offer for the youngsters to use. Much of what is available is sadly under used, plus a hall that I inspected which is totally perfect for staging shows, dances, etc, but will close due to under use.

During August and September there are a number of activities available, all run by a group of dedicated youth workers. For more information, have a look at yourspacewestsussex.co.uk.

You may have noticed all over the district signs for River Fest. Plans are well underway for this first-ever event staged by the council and local Shoreham traders that will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend (August 24-26).

Fingers are crossed for fine weather as the town celebrates the river that flows through it. There will be non-stop activities day and night from East Street to Ropetackle and Adur Outdoor Activities Centre, both sides of the river will be entertaining visitors with music, dancing, poetry, fun fair, river races, food and drink stalls, art and photographic exhibitions and more.

East Street will be under cover for the three days and Coronation Green will host the Railing Staines on the Saturday night (7pm), billed as Europe’s best Rolling Stones tribute bands. This event is totally free. There is even a free open-top bus running from the free car park at Adur Recreation Ground to East Street.

Please put in your diary a very special event taking place on September 29 at the Shoreham Centre. This is in aid of my chairman’s charity, Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, plus the Say No To Drugs Campaign.

I am very excited about this event as I have managed to put together some of the world’s greatest musicians, led by the amazing Jive Aces, who had just a couple of days free in the whole year and they have given this day to us. The Jive Aces appear all over and are billed as the number one swing band in the world.

Keith Ball will be with us with his tribute to his late father Kenny Ball and there will also be several other leading acts.

The price is affordable at just £15 in advance and £20 on the door. The show is from 4pm to 9 pm. Tickets on sale soon.