IAN HART Parking, finances and Tony Cohen

IT almost begs the question, “Are they putting something in the tea at the Town Hall?”

Last week, an email arrived from a Worthing borough councillor, who for obvious reasons shall remain nameless. It had the title “4th parking story”. Now, given that a couple of weeks ago, I had recounted three tales of parking woe, I naturally thought this would make up a quartet.

But it began: “Ian, yesterday, I was taking a party of businessmen to a meeting at the planning department. On the way there, one of them said, ‘I like coming to Worthing, the parking is great’.

“These are people who travel all over the region on business. Councillor X.”

Thinking this was some kind of attempt at satire, I replied: “Did you take them straight to A and E?”

But in the subsequent reply, it was clear the person was serious, and their proposed upcoming investment would be in the region of £9million. The email went on to say: “They (i.e., the investors) are no fools and they have an outsiders’ view of Worthing and it is very positive. Will the Herald represent it?”

I cannot speak for the editor, but I’m more than happy to engage in a conversation, which I would later recount in print, with the person who uttered the words “the parking is great”, because I would suggest they either live on a desert island with no cars or are delusional.

n Due to governmental mismanagement, this country is having to restructure its finances and, as a result, almost everybody will be affected.

But like millions of other people, I don’t agree with the extent of all the cuts. There is money wasted across the board in the country, be it in councils and local government or paying out unnecessary amounts within the benefit system.

These issues should be sorted out before they start laying off key workers and slashing youth and social service budgets.

However, protest marches, despite their good intentions, are not the way forward, because of the inevitable consequence that they get hijacked by troublemakers, most of whom have never done a day’s work in their life (or ever intend to) or ever pay into the system.

So, all the good, honest, hardworking people, who want to make a stand against the apparent injustice of the cuts end up getting lumped in with all troublemakers.

And perhaps what’s even worse is the fact that the policing bill and the cost of the clean-up afterwards will see more money being slashed from the budgets the people were protesting against in the first place. It certainly doesn’t bode well for the upcoming royal wedding, if the reports of more disruption are anything to go by.

n And finally, belated congratulations to Tony Cohen, who recently received a national award for his voluntary work.

Despite all of his four children having left school a long time ago, Tony has worked tirelessly for well over two decades as chair of governors at both Thomas A’Becket Middle School and Worthing High School.