Change of Hart?

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As the potential leader of the new Worthing Party I feel it is only right I respond to Ian Hart’s kind job offer is last week’s Herald.

Thanks Ian, but no thanks.

I am quite happy in my present position as are all my Lib Dem members.

There is no coalition in Worthing.

Unluckily for us, and Worthing, we didn’t come close enough to our Tory colleagues in the last election but we did retain and gain enough seats to hold that credible opposition that Ian craves. Our opposition position has remained the same from prior to the election and afterwards.

But has Ian suffered a “change of Hart”?

Lib Dems can remember Ian’s column on May 13 being headlined “A call for unity” and asking whether local party leaders could work together for the good of the town.

Ian thought there was more chance of George Michael marrying Cheryl Cole at Broadwater Church the next Saturday – perhaps we missed the wedding.

We don’t need a Worthing Party to work for the good of Worthing.

Liberal Democrats are already fulfilling that role – working locally as they have always done. Working for Worthing or Broadwater or Central or Goring – wherever.

It is because we are a local party that we are a bottom-up party and not a top-down one as Ian seems to suggest. Nick Clegg is no more likely to dictate our views on the swimming pool as that wedding between Michael and Cheryl taking place.

No cosy rubber-stamping – our current Focus leaflet says “Worthing Swimming Club don’t want it. Worthing Herald letter writers don’t want it.

“Worthing residents on the doorstep don’t want it. It’s not big enough, it’s not wide enough and it doesn’t have enough room for spectators . . . so why do Worthing’s Tories keep swimming against the tide?”

I trust our position is now clear.

Alan Rice

Worthing Borough Council Liberal Democrat Group Leader