IAN HART: Praise for Worthing council leader’s traveller tip-off

BY the very nature of their role, council leaders are there to be shot at, not literally I hasten to add. So, when our own local chief, councillor Paul Yallop, steps up to the plate and goes almost beyond the call of duty, it’s certainly worthy of a mention.

I was sat at Chez Hart on Sunday night, enjoying the return of Downton Abbey, when Paul telephoned me. He explained that word had reached him that travellers were in the process of moving from Lancing Manor. A white Transit had allegedly been seen staking out potential new sites earlier that day and, for some reason, the council contractors had not locked Palatine Park up at dusk, Paul had tried without success to get hold of someone, and asked me if I could contact someone from Worthing Town FC to, hopefully, avert a serious situation.

Thankfully, my good mate Steve Hoare is the vice-chairman. I phoned him immediately, he in turn phoned club chairman, Tony Lelliott, who got down to Palatine within minutes, apparently Usain Bolt couldn’t have done it quicker, and locked the gates.

After the no-show by the council contractors, I do wonder what might have happened if Paul Yallop hadn’t intervened. Needless to say, if he hadn’t, the new state-of-the-art sporting facility at Palatine might have been looking somewhat different this week.

l Whilst I actually like Bryan Turner, I have to say I find his latest response to the swimming pool debate quite patronising. In a email to me earlier this week, he stated the imaginative name of Splash Point was chosen by a clear majority in the poll, and that my support for former Worthing Olympic swimming finalist Angela Barnwell was well-known and if people wanted that they would have voted for it.

A couple of things, councillor Turner. Please could we know how many people in our town of 100,000 actually voted in this poll?

My support for Angela Barnwell was not made public until after the beginning of the said poll, and I freely admit I only stumbled on her amazing story while talking to Paul Holden and Alastair Roberts from Worthing Swimming Club.

But this is my point, councillor Turner, as a town rich in history and tradition, we seem to be dumbing down and forgetting our past.

Angela’s story is a classic sporting tale and something that youngsters even half a century on could aspire to. Name the pool after her and I’m sure the large majority of people who use it will be interested in her story.

I am proud to live in this town, and although I never met her, because she, sadly, died long before I was born, I’m proud of what Angela did, and we should never forget it.