IAN HART What lies ahead for Worthing and Adur councils?

The ongoing merger between Worthing and Adur councils was never going to be plain sailing, but in the main, things have moved forward.

But by the very nature of the two authorities coming together, certain issues have had to be addressed, none more so than what would eventually happen to one of the council offices.

Initially, it was rumoured that although a relatively young building, Portland House would be the one to be sold off, although this plan clearly has been scrapped as the council has now annouced plans to move the registrars from Centenary House to the centre of town.

So, will it be the Adur building that will go? Rumours abound that the Adur Civic Centre will close with Morrisons, the supermarket giants, taking on the building.

Without wishing to state the obvious, will that be some kind of regional HQ for a group that was originally based very much in the north of England? Or will it be another supermarket? Because Shoreham haven’t got many of them, have they?

The merger did also throw up a school of thought from our very own “men in grey suits” that the mayoralty should be scrapped. A move which I for one, along with many others, would have vehemently protested against.

The mayor is an important and integral part of our town. Regardless of their political colours, we have had some great people take the job in the town’s long history. There’s not enough space to name them all, but in my lifetime the likes of Ron Clapp, Iris Smith, Connie Scott, Mike Parkin, Bob Clare, Peter Bennett, Stan Moore, Eric Mardell, Brian McLuskie, Christine Brown, along with many recent people to have taken up the post are worthy of a mention.

I cannot fathom out who within the council would have the mindset to even contemplate scrapping the post.

But, then again, I learnt a long time ago that council officers are a rare breed!

Thankfully, the plans were all shelved, one of the main reasons, I understand, good old-fashioned fear.

To go forward with the plans would have required a formal request to Her Majesty the Queen to dissolve the post, so clearly, and thankfully, no-one in the shadows at the Town Hall was prepared to put their name to such a document.

So we’ve still got the mayor, with this year’s incumbent Ann Barlow already doing a magnificent job, and I’m sure even some of the people within the council who wanted the post scrapped would be the first to admit. Worthing without a mayor? Unthinkable!

Having sat through a week of BGT, which perhaps should have actually been retitled, ‘Has Britain got Talent?’, got me thinking, is now the time for the return of the famous Worthing Starsearch?

Even the final line-up for Simon Cowell’s latest vehicle would have struggled to entertain the legendary audience at the Pavilion, or perhaps like Cowell’s show, did our own local contest have its golden time which will live long in the memory?